Mon, July 02, 2012

Iran prepares bill to close Hormuz Strait in response to EU oil sanctions

2012-07-02 15:20:51 GMT2012-07-02 23:20:51(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, July 2 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Majlis (parliament) has prepared a bill which calls for the closure of Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf in response to the recent European Union (EU) oil embargo on Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ebrahim Agha-Mohammadi said that the commission has prepared a bill which calls on the government to block the Strait to the oil tankers which will ship the crude to the countries which have joined the oil sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The bill has been prepared in response to the EU oil sanctions against the Islamic republic, Agha-Mohammadi was quoted as saying.

The Iranian lawmaker said that the bill has been signed by 100 out of 290 members of Iranian parliament as of Sunday, said the report.

The bill will be "soon" presented in the open session of the Majlis, the lawmaker said.

Iran's practice of sovereignty over its waters is the least measure that can be taken by the Islamic republic in the face of " unfair" action of oil embargo against the country, the lawmaker added.

Some Iranian government and military officials already threatened to use all levers, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, if increased Western sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear activities halt Iran's exports and hurts the interests of the Islamic republic.

Tehran denied the U.S. and European allegations that the Islamic republic is developing nuclear weapons, insisting on its previous claims that its nuclear program is for "peaceful" purposes.

In January, the EU foreign ministers approved the new sanctions against Tehran, which prevents its member states from buying the Iranian crude. The sanctions went into effect on Sunday.

Washington imposed a new round of sanctions of its own last Thursday, targeting financial institutions of any country that buys Iranian oil. However, it has exempted 20 economies from the sanctions for a period of 180 days.


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