The Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff Mohammad Baqeri told reporters at a ceremony on Sunday that Iran is not bent on closing the strategic Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf and its navy provides security of navigation in the strait.
IRGC General Baqeri (Bagheri) added that Iranian officials have made it clear that Iran does not want to close Hormuz, but in case of more animosity by “enemies, we will be capable of blocking” the strait, Mizan news agency reported.
Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to close Hormuz if Iran is totally deprived of exporting its oil. The United States have imposed oil export sanctions against Iran since November and recently tightened the screws, cancelling exemptions offered to a handful of countries.
The Iranian commander also claimed that Iran is in total control of the Hormuz. “Today, all vessels and navy ships must answer IRGC navy’s questions. U.S. warships also have responded to questions and we have not had a problem”.
Iran’s claim to have legal control over the strait is not true, since most shipping lanes are within Oman’s territorial waters. But in terms of military ability to disrupt shipping, Iran has the general capability.
U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday, April 27 the United States would deploy the necessary resources to counter any dangerous actions by Iran.