Iran's navy commander Sayari 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Fars News)
The US Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday that it will not allow any
disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz "The free flow
of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional
and global prosperity," a spokesperson for the Bahrain-based fleet said
in a written response to queries from Reuters about the possibility of
Iran trying to close the waterway.
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The comments came in response to a warning made Tuesday
by Iran's first vice-president that the flow of crude will be stopped
from the crucial Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if foreign sanctions are
imposed on its oil exports. "If they (the West) impose sanctions on
Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the
Strait of Hormuz," IRNA quoted Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying.
The US Fifth Fleet statement added that "anyone who threatens to
disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly
outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated."
whether it was taking specific measures in response to the threat to
close the Strait, the fleet said that it "maintains a robust presence in the
region to deter or counter destabilizing activities", without providing
further detail.Approximately one third of all sea-borne oil was shipped through the Strait in 2009, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab
Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq - together with nearly all the liquefied
natural gas from lead exporter Qatar - must slip through a 6.4
km wide shipping channel between Oman and Iran.