First Published: 2008-06-28

Iran to control Gulf oil route if attacked

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander says that Tehran able to retaliate if Iran came under attack.


Middle East Online

Jafari: ‘every country under attack by an enemy uses all its capacity’

TEHRAN - The commander of the Revolutionary Guards said Iran would impose controls on shipping in the vital Gulf oil transit route if the Islamic Republic came under attack, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Speculation about a possible attack on Iran because of its disputed nuclear ambitions has risen since a report this month said Israel had practiced such a strike.

"Naturally every country under attack by an enemy uses all its capacity and opportunities to confront the enemy. Regarding the main route for exiting energy, Iran will definitely act to impose control on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz," commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari told Jam-e Jam newspaper.

Iranian officials have in the past sent mixed signals about whether it would use oil as a weapon in any confrontation.

Tension between Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, and the US over its nuclear plans has been one factor helping prop up sky-high oil prices.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. Israel is believed to be the only Middle East state with nuclear arms.

Washington has said it wants diplomacy to end the nuclear row but has not ruled out military action should that fail. Israel has repeatedly threatened attacking Iran, a move that participated in the increase of oil prices.

"If there is a confrontation between us and the enemy from outside the region, definitely the scope (of the confrontation) will reach the oil issue," Jafari said.

"After this action (of Iran imposing controls on the Gulf waterway), the oil price will rise very considerably and this is among the factors deterring the enemies," he said.

He warned countries in the region not to let their territory be used for any attack.

The United States has military stationed in the area, including Iran's neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan. Tehran has often said US troops should withdraw to let regional countries handle their own security.

"If enemies from outside the region use the soil of regional countries against the Islamic Republic of Iran ... the governments of those countries will be responsible and it is our obvious right to act in the same way against their military capabilities and abilities of enemies anywhere," Jafari said.

Jafari also warned Israel against any attack on Iran.

"There is the possibility that by attacking Iranian nuclear sites the enemy (Israel) wants to delay our nuclear activities, but any interruption would be very short since Iranian scientific ability is different from that of Syria and Iraq," Jafari noted.

His comments came after US media reported that more than 100 Israeli warplanes staged a training exercise with Greece earlier this month to prepare for a possible long-distance strike - a manoeuvre seen as a warning to Tehran.

"Our missile power and capability are such that the Zionist regime -- despite all its abilities -- cannot confront it," Jafari warned.

Tehran said it would not initiate any offensive, but if attacked by Israel, Iran will not let Tel Aviv go unpunished.

"Iran will not begin any conflict but will punish any aggressor with force. With determination and using all the options - without limit in time and space," said Mostafa Mohammad Najar, Iran's defence minister last Sunday.


US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing