Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami said Wednesday that if the Israeli Navy blocked Iranian oil tankers, Iran would give a firm response. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week accused Iran of smuggling crude oil and threatened to use the navy to stop it.
The Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency reported that Khatami had shouted to Israel that if Israel interfered in Irans crude oil exports, Iran would have sufficient military capability to protect its routes.
Hatami said that intercepting oil tankers would be seen as piracy and if it happens, we will respond firmly.
The U.S. government withdrew from the comprehensive agreement on Irans nuclear issue last May and gradually resumed sanctions against Iran, including energy sanctions. The United States had previously pressed other countries not to import crude oil from Iran. Iran responded that if the US blockade order prevented Iran from exporting crude oil, Iran would block the Strait of Hormuz.
When Netanyahu visited the Navy last week, he said Iran was still sneaking crude oil and that the Israeli Navy might take action to enforce U.S. sanctions.
The Israeli navy has a fleet of submarines and missile cruisers operating mainly in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, Reuters reported. The Iranian navy has expanded its activities from the Gulf to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, expelling pirates attacking Iranian tankers in the Gulf of Aden on 8 this month.
Source: Global Times - Global Network. More exciting, please log on to the World Wide Web http://www.huanqiu.com responsible editor: Wang Xu_NBJS8023