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Iran to shut Hormuz Strait "if threatened": commander

07-07-2012 21:44 BJT

TEHRAN, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Iran will close Hormuz Strait if threatened, Press TV reported on Saturday.

Iran does have the plan to shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but would execute it only if the nation's security is threatened, Major General Hassan Firuzabadi said.

"We do have the plan to close the Strait of Hormuz, since a member of the military must plan for all scenarios," Firuzabadi said Friday on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran.

An Iranian lawmaker also reiterated Wednesday threats that the Islamic republic would close the strategic strait in the Persian Gulf if the Western sanctions against Iran increase.

"If we completely go under the sanctions, we will not let a single drop of oil pass through the Hormuz Strait," said Arsalan Fathipour, head of the Economic Commission of Iranian Majlis ( parliament).

Some Iranian government and military officials have already threatened to use all means, particularly closing the Strait of Hormuz, if the Western sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear activities halt Iran's exports and hurt the interests of the Islamic republic.

In January, EU foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Tehran, which prevent its member states from buying the Iranian crude. The sanctions went into effect Sunday.

Moreover, the United States imposed a new round of sanctions of its own in June, targeting financial institutions of any country that buys Iranian oil. However, it has exempted 20 economies from the sanctions for a period of 180 days.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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