IRAN has threatened to cut off oil reserves to the rest of the world as the conflict with the US threatens to spiral out of control.
Following Donald Trump’s warnings of punishments for companies which purchase Iranian oil, President Hassan Rouhani warned Tehran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries.
Yesterday the leading commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, an elite branch of the military, said he is prepared to follow presidential orders to halt Iranian oil exports.
Major-General Qassem Soleimani said in a letter published on Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA): “I kiss (Rouhani’s) hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”
And Esmail Kowsari, deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran, said: “Any hostile attempt by the U.S. will be followed by an exorbitant cost for them.
“If Iran’s oil exports are to be prevented, we will not give permission for oil to be exported to the world through the Strait of Hormuz.”
The Strait of Hormuz is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and carries the world’s largest concentration of tankers with around 30 percent of all sea-borne traded crude oil and other liquids throughout the year.
It is a major oil shipping route for Persian Gulf nations to the Arabian Sea.
Stephen Brenneck, an oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, has cautioned that halting Iranian oil exports “would propel oil prices well into triple figures”.