Iran: U.S. can't stop shutdown of Hormuz

Jan. 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM
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TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Military officials in Tehran said the United States can not stop Iran from preventing oil from passing through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

"Regardless of their publicity campaigns and propaganda efforts, the Americans are incapable of confronting Iranian actions in a number of spheres, including the potential plan [by Iran] to shut down the Strait of Hormuz," Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chairman of Joint Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, said Monday, Iran's state-run Press TV reported.

The statement came a day after the Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed it had received through three different channels a message from the United States on the Islamic Republic's threats to close the Strait of Hormuz.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, delivered the message to her Iranian counterpart as well as to the Swiss ambassador to Iran, and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered the same message to Iranian officials. Mehmanparast said Iran is studying the letter and "will respond if necessary."

Iran's first vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, warned in December sanctions against the country's energy sector would prompt Tehran to prevent oil cargoes from passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

The threat came after the United States announced plans to boycott Iran's Central Bank over the country's nuclear program.

The U.S. Navy 5th Fleet, based in the Persian Gulf across from Iran in the Sunni-led monarchy of Bahrain, said it would not "tolerate" any disruption to oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran recently conducted war games near the strait, through which about 15 million barrels of oil pass daily.

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