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Iran's President Threatens To Close Strait Of Hormuz If U.S. Blocks Oil Exports


Iranian President Hassan Rohani gives a public speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud on December 4.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has threatened again to close the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea.

Iranian state TV quoted Rohani as saying on December 4 that "if someday, the United States decides to block Iran's oil [exports], no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf."

Rohani also vowed that the United States would not be able to prevent Iran from exporting its crude oil.

Rohani made similar threats after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and said he would work to prevent Iran from exporting any oil.

Rohani's threat to block the strait has been welcomed by Iranian hard-liners like General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the powerful Quds Force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, dismissed Rohani's threat, saying that Tehran did not control the Strait of Hormuz.

"The strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways," Hook said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP