Following US declarations that Washington and its allies intend to take Iranian crude exports down to “zero” by cancelling waivers previously granted to eight nations, tensions are now soaring over the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) attempting to lay down the law amid fears the US Navy could move to block Iran’s access, given the IRGC’s new terror designation.
On Wednesday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said if the US intends to pass through the Persian Gulf’s vital choke point — the waterway’s narrowest strait routinely patrolled by Iran’s military — “it must dialogue with those who defend it”. Sharif’s wordswere essentially a provocative declaration that the US military must ask Tehran’s “permission” to enter the strait. However, he elsewhere explained that he doesn’t believe that President Trump wants war with Iran, but that he could be “lured into one” by his more hawkish advisers. Image via Mehr News Agency
Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday warned the United States of unspecified “consequences” if it tried to seal off to Tehran the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage into the oil-rich Gulf. — Channel News Asia
“I don’t think he wants war,” Zarif said in an interview at the Iranian mission to the UN in New York, according to Reuters. “But that doesn’t exclude him being basically lured into one.”
“Those who have designed the policies that are being pursued do not simply want a negotiated solution. But let me make it clear that Iran is not seeking confrontation, but will not escape defending itself,” Zarif said further.
The Iranian foreign minister also interestingly suggested the possibility that American operatives or their allies could try “to plot an accident” to create a broader crisis, in perhaps a continued cryptic reference to tensions in the Persian Gulf over the Strait of Hormuz.
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