Amid US sanctions, Iran threatens again to close key strait

President Rouhani speaking in the city of Shahroud Semnan Province

President Rouhani speaking in the city of Shahroud Semnan Province

"The US should know [this] that we are selling and will continue to sell our oil and it will not be able to block Iran's oil exports".

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed to cut off worldwide oil sales from the Gulf on Tuesday, striking a defiant stance against United States sanctions.

After its repeated threats of disrupting other countries' oil shipment through the Gulf, if Washington presses ahead with efforts to halt Iranian oil export, the U.S. administration responded on Tuesday to Iran, where it dismissed any possibility of disruption in the navigation movement and rejected Tehran's provocations in the region.

It has granted temporary waivers to eight countries, including Iraq, who are heavily dependent on oil imports from Tehran, on condition that they seek alternative sources.

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Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the U.S. "should not play with the lion's tail".

Iranian state TV quoted Rohani as saying on December 4 that "if someday, the United States decides to block Iran's oil [exports], no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf".

"Preventing Iran from exporting oil would mean preventing the entire region from doing so", he said.

Washington has re-imposed its unilateral anti-Iran sanctions, including an oil embargo, after withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May in defiance of global objections.

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"The United States should know that we are selling oil and we will sell our oil and it can not block Iran's oil export", he said on Tuesday addressing the people of Shahroud in Semnan province broadcast live on state TV. "We will build an Iran, which is more powerful than ever before".

Rouhani said the United States would not succeed in cutting Iran's economic ties with the region and the world.

Pompeo, who also met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Brussels on the fringes of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Monday, said the test violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal signed by world powers with the Islamic republic.

The Trump administration restored sanctions on Iran's energy industry to try and pressure Tehran to give up its nuclear and missile tests.

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