Iran navy chief says shutting off Gulf "very easy"

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2011 4:28 AM
Iran navy chief says shutting off Gulf "very easy"

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Closing off the Gulf to oil tankers will be "easier than drinking a glass of water" for Iran if the Islamic state deems it necessary, Iran's top naval commander told the country's state television Wednesday.

"Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran's armed forces is really easy ... or as Iranians say it will be easier than drinking a glass of water," Habibollah Sayyari told Iran's English language Press TV.

"But right now, we don't need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control, and we can control the transit."

Tension has increased between Iran and the West after EU foreign ministers decided three weeks ago to tighten sanctions on the world's No. 5 crude exporter to force it to resume halt its sensitive nuclear work.

Iran warned Tuesday it would stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if such sanctions were imposed on the country.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Louise Ireland)