Iran has announced on Monday that it would be conducting military drills to practice closing the Strait of Hormuz.
Parliament member Parviz Sarvari stated: “Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”
The Strait is of vital importance, as it allows for the passage of 15.5 million barrels of oil daily. It is located between Iran and the United Arab Emirates and has long been a source of contention between the United States and Iran.
In 2008 Ali Mohammed Jafari threatened to seal the Strait if Israel or the U.S. attacked Iran. The U.S. responded by saying it would consider the closure an act of war and would respond accordingly.
The Strait was not sealed, but the threat never fully dissipated. However, now with the military maneuver a renewed threat appears to be surfacing.
The U.S. has had a tenuous relationship with Iran, and that relationship has been broken down by recent exchanges between the two countries. Iran threatened relations between itself and NATO allies when it failed to protect the British embassy from students protesting sanctions imposed on their country, who went on to storm and damage the embassy building.
More recently, Iran has claimed to have shot down and captured a U.S. drone, which it has refused to release back to the United States.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the press: “They (the Americans) must be held accountable for the violation of international regulations… We will not budge an inch on the issue.”
He continued, “Mr. Obama is trying to be blind to what has happened, but we should ask him this question: would they have adopted the same attitude if the airspace of the United States had been violated?”
Currently negotiations surrounding the drone have come to a standstill, however, it is likely that the new situation surrounding the Strait could provoke renewed dialogue between the two countries.
However, Mehmanparast said, “If they [Americans] really regret the attitude they adopted in the past and think that they need relations with Iran, they should offer an official apology and revise their attitude in practice, and then the Iranian nation will decide what to do.”