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Iran backs off threat to close key oil route Strait of Hormuz

Washington, Sun, 01 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 1 (ANI): Iran has backed down from its earlier threats to block the strategic oil route through the Strait of Hormuz, with the nation's Revolutionary Guard commander calling it a 'discussion of the past.'


"Discourse about closing the Strait of Hormuz belongs to five years ago. Today's debate in the Islamic Republic of Iran contains new layers and the time has not come to raise it," said General Masoud Jazayeri said in comments posted on the Guard's website,


Iran has threatened on Tuesday to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments, The Washington Post reports.


The nation's navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayyari warned on Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic oil route at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway through which a sixth of the world's oil flows.


He, however, took a slightly more conciliatory tone later, saying Iran can choke off the vital waterway, but it has no intention to do so at this point.


Meanwhile, the US has strongly warned Iran against closing the vital waterway, saying it won't tolerate it. (ANI)


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