February 23, 2019
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran said on Saturday it had many options to neutralize the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on its oil exports, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, adding that Tehran’s clerical rulers had no plans to hold talks with Washington.
“Apart from closing Strait of Hormuz, we have other options to stop oil flow if threatened… The U.S. administration lacks ‘goodwill’, no need to hold talks with America,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told Tasnim.
“Iran has plans in place that will neutralize the illegal U.S. sanctions against Iran’s oil exports,” Shamkhani said.
Tensions between Iran and the United States increased after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers last May, and then reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Washington aims to force Tehran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
Iranian officials have threatened to disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf countries if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s oil exports.
Carrying one-third of the world’s seaborne oil every day, the Strait of Hormuz links Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.
Shamkhani also said Iran has achieved 90 percent of its goals in Syria, Tasnim reported.
The threat of direct confrontation between arch-enemies Israel and Iran has long simmered in Syria, where the Iranian military built a presence early in the nearly eight-year civil war to help President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Toby Chopra)