Iran's first vice president warns that it will block the flow of crude from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz if foreign sanctions are imposed on Tehran's oil exports.
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, quoted Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying, "If they [the West] impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz."
About a third of all seaborne oil was shipped through the strait in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and U.S. warships patrol the area to ensure safe passage.
Tensions over Iran's nuclear program have increased since the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on November 8 that Tehran appears to have worked on designing a nuclear bomb.
Iran strongly rejects the charges and says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.