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.


Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali