Iran has prepared a plan for closing the Strait of Hormuz but will only use it if threatened, the chief of staff of the armed forces told the Iranian Students News Agency late Friday.
Major General Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi said that the Islamic Republic would act rationally when deciding whether to close the strategically important waterway through which an estimated 20 percent of the world’s oil supply passes. Iran would only close the strait if its interests were “in serious trouble,” he said.
“We have plans to close the Strait of Hormuz because military commanders must have plans for any situation,” Firouzabadi told ISNA.
Iran has been feeling the heat of increased economic sanctions recently, with new restrictions imposed this week by the European Union on the sale of Iranian oil. Together with US-lead sanctions that prohibit the world’s banks from completing oil transactions with Iranian banks, the newest measures have significantly ratcheted up the pressure on an already floundering Iranian economy.
Western nations are targeting Iran’s nuclear program, and are attempting to force the Islamic Republic to halt further uranium enrichment that could be used in the development of nuclear weapons. Iran insists that its program is maintained for peaceful purposes only.