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US: We will react if Iran shuts oil flow

Press TV - The US Naval Forces Central Command says the international community will rapidly react if Iran shuts down the strategic Hormuz Strait.

Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, the commander of the Fifth Fleet, responsible for naval operations in the Persian Gulf, said Wednesday that the blockade of the Persian Gulf would be an 'international affront'.

"Regardless of what might precipitate an entity or a country to attempt to close the strait ... it is an international affront that is saying to the world that the nearly 40 percent of the world's oil and the significant amount of natural gas which goes through the strait is now being held hostage by a single country," Cosgriff said in Abu Dhabi naval security conference.

"I think the international community would find its voice rapidly and insist that whoever was attempting to do this cease and desist," he added.

Iranian warship firing missile during wargames (file photo, August 2006)

The strategically important Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman connects the world's largest oil exporters to international markets. As much as 40 percent of the world's crude oil passes through the Persian Gulf waterway.

"I believe ... Iran will not attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz and we will not allow them to close the Strait of Hormuz. I can't say it anymore clearly than that," continued Vice Adm. Cosgriff.

Iran warns that it would not hesitate in taking all necessary measures to safeguard its national interests in case of an enemy offensive.

"When a country comes under attack, it naturally uses all its capacities to confront the enemy," said Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari on Saturday in reference to the country's ability to cut oil supplies by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

"In case of an attack... oil prices will dramatically increase and this prevents the enemy from inching toward a military action against Iran," added the top IRGC commander.

While Washington and Tel Aviv continue to beat the drums of war against Iran over its nuclear program, Tehran has affirmed that it is fully prepared to counter any act of aggression on its soil.

... Payvand News - 07/02/08 ... --

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