Saudi oil minister says any Hormuz block would be brief

January 16, 2012 15:16


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DUBAI  - The Straits of Hormuz are unlikely to be blocked for long, if at all, but rising tension between Iran and Western powers are disturbing and negative for oil markets, Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN on Monday.

Tehran has threatened to close the vital export route for most of Saudi Arabia's oil as tensions with the United States and its Western allies have escalated over the last month.

"I personally do not believe that the Strait, if it were shut, will be shut for any length of time. The world cannot stand for that," the oil minister for the world's largest oil exporter told CNN, according to a transcript of CNN's Global Exchange program due to air at 16:00 GMT.

Asked if he is concerned about the war of words between Iran and United States Naimi said: "I don't think all these pronouncements are helpful to the international oil market or to the price of oil. Its really disturbing."

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