Iran now downplays threat to close strait

The Jerusalem Post is reporting in a Reuters story that an Iranian Military commander is now saying Iran won’t close Strait of Hormuz as long as it can use the shipping line itself, IRNA reports.

The report from Dubai asserts Iran would not close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it is able to use the vital shipping line itself.  The military commander was quoted Monday moderating recent threats by Iranian politicians to block the waterway as retaliation for sanctions.

"The enemies constantly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to close the Strait of Hormuz but we say that common sense does not dictate that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it makes use of it," said Alireza Tangsiri, deputy naval commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, state news agency IRNA reported.

Such a move would risk a military response from the United States and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Reuters earlier this month Iran was unlikely to follow through on the threat unless its own vessels were denied use of the strait.

Iran’s parliament is debating a bill recommending the strait be closed in retaliation to a European Union embargo on Iranian oil which came into full effect this month.

Click here for the report from The Jerusalem Post.