Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on July 21 backed President Hassan Rohani’s suggestion that Iran may block oil exports from the Persian Gulf if its own exports are stopped.
Khamenei’s website said Khamenei supported Rohani’s statement earlier in July that “if Iran’s oil is not exported, no regional country’s oil will be exported.”
The website said Rohani’s comments were “important remarks that reflect the policy and the approach of [Iran’s] system.”
Rohani’s apparent threat to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to imminent U.S. sanctions and efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.
Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the oil sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and one of the world’s most strategically important choke points, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.