The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has warned that the nation’s military could easily close the Strait of Hormuz and seal off the world’s key oil shipping route.
Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Monday that Iran was capable of imposing “unlimited controls” at the Strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf where on any given day roughly 25 percent of the world's ocean-borne oil traffic passes.
“Closing the Strait of Hormuz for an unlimited period of time would be very easy,” he said.
“The Guards have recently tested a naval weapon [and] I can say with certainty that the enemy’s ships would not be safe within the range of 300 kilometers. Without any doubt we will send them to the depths of the sea.”
Jafari did not describe the weapon but said it was “unique in the world” and could reach enemy warships in the Persian Gulf, an apparent reference to U.S. warships that have been conducting naval maneuvers there, The New York Times reported.
A Newsmax report back in March 2006, quoting a former Iranian intelligence officer who defected to the West, disclosed that the Revolutionary Guard were already making preparations for a massive assault on U.S. naval forces and international shipping in the Persian Gulf.
The new warning came after the weekend expiration of an informal deadline for Iran to respond to an offer of incentives from the U.S. and five other world powers to stop enriching uranium.
The U.S. has said new sanctions should be imposed on Iran for failing to respond to the deadline, according to The Times.
In dismissing the deadline, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran would not move “one iota” to curtail its nuclear program.
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