Tue, July 17, 2012

Iranian FM spokesman says security of Persian Gulf, Hormuz Strait should be safeguarded

2012-07-17 14:04:31 GMT2012-07-17 22:04:31(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz should be maintained so that all countries, including those in the region, could preserve their own interests.

Mehmanparast made the remarks in his weekly press briefing when he was asked to comment on a proposed bill by the Iranian Majlis ( parliament) to close the Strait of Hormuz.

"It appears that countries which try to interfere in regional issues or pursue measures that make energy supply insecure and disturb the energy market are the real threats to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," Mehmanparast said.

He stressed that Iran's military might and defense capabilities are only to be used as determents, although the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is a major priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Earlier this month, Iranian lawmaker Ebrahim Agha-Mohammadi said the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Majlis had prepared a bill which called for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz in response to the recent European Union (EU) oil embargo on Iran.

Some Iranian government and military officials have 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 hurt the interests of the Islamic republic.

Tensions over Iran's nuclear program have been mounting recently after three rounds of nuclear talks held earlier this year between Tehran and six world powers, namely the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, failed to bear concrete results.

The United States and Israel has said repeatedly that a nuclear Iran is intolerable and they would do whatever necessary, including military attacks, to prevent Tehran from getting that capability.

The United States has been saying it will never allow the Strait of Hormuz to be blocked and the critical waterway must stay open.

The Western powers, fearful that Iran may use its nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear bombs, have recently tightened sanctions on Tehran, including the EU oil embargo that came into effect since July 1, trying to force Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities.


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