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Iran says will respond in kind if US tries to block oil exports

A general view of the Port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal, in the Persian Gulf on 12 March, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the Port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal, in the Persian Gulf on 12 March, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iran will respond with equal countermeasures if the United States tries to block its oil exports, the foreign ministry in Tehran said today.

US officials are stepping up diplomatic efforts to pressure countries to stop importing Iranian oil.

“If America wants to take a serious step in this direction it will definitely be met with a reaction and equal countermeasures from Iran,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran might block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped.

READ: United States hints at sanctions waivers on Iran oil

Already fraught relations between Tehran and Washington have worsened in recent days.

Yesterday, Iran dismissed an angry warning from President Donald Trump that it risked dire consequences “the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it made threats against the United States.

Iran’s parliamentary speaker yesterday described Trump’s comments as “the words of a troublemaker”.

“The United States is experiencing disorder and wildness in its diplomatic relations,” Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Iran has faced the threat of US sanctions since Trump decided in May to withdraw the United States from a 2015 agreement between world powers and Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.

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