'Closing Strait of Hormuz easy for Iran'
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has reiterated that the country's naval forces can readily block the strategic Strait of Hormuz if need be, Press TV reports.
“Closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces,” Sayyari told Press TV on Wednesday as the Iranian Navy continued with the ten-day “Velayat 90” naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman, which began on December 24.
“Iran has comprehensive control over the strategic water way,” the Iranian commander added.
Sayyari's comment came a day after Iran's Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that not a drop of oil would be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions are placed against Iran's oil exports.
Sayyari, however, noted that the Islamic Republic steadfastly maintains its interest in “establishing sustainable security and stability in the region.”
He further said that Iran hopes to convey a message of friendship and reassurance to the Middle Eastern nations by engaging in the ongoing naval exercises.
The maneuvers, which have been designed to showcase and put to test defensive strategies of Iran's naval forces, were planned as response to repeated enemy threats against the interests of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian commander added.
Sayyari also announced Iran's willingness to engage in joint naval maneuvers with other nations, particularly the regional countries.
The remarks by the navy commander come as Iran's naval forces are midway through their 10 days of drills in the Strait of Hormuz and beyond.
Among the objectives of the Velayat-90 maneuvers is to expand the presence of Iranian armed forces in international waters and prepare against piracy, terrorism or induced disruption to regional trade.
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow shipping channel that leads in and out of the Persian Gulf between Iran and Oman.
Statistically, the waterway is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, with a daily flow of about 15 million barrels of oil.
The amount accounts for 90 percent of oil exports from oil-rich coastal countries of the Persian Gulf and nearly 40 percent of the entire global oil consumption.