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Last update - 09:26 24/01/2006
Iranian official: UN sanctions may lead us to seal off Persian Gulf
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
A senior Iranian official threatened that Tehran may forcibly prevent oil export via the Straits of Hormuz if the UN imposed economic sanctions due to Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian news Web site said on Monday.
This is the first time an Iranian official makes military threats in a public statement on Tehran's recent disagreements with the West.
The news site, affiliated with the radical student movement in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was once a member, quoted Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
According to the report, Rudaki said that "if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz."
25% of the world's oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connect the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. The meaning of Rudaki's threat is that not only will Tehran stop its oil production from reaching the West, it may also use force to prevent the other oil prodoucers in the region (the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait) from exporting to the West.
Raduki also warned that his country might quit from its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
I wonder if the Iranians truly understand how close they are to being toast. Do they think we're going to sit on our hands like the idiots at the UN if they nuke Israel?