Iranian officials have warned that if further sanctions are imposed on Iran they will use their capability to block the vital oil route of the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. threats to impose more sanctions on Iran have been countered with a strong response by officials in Tehran. Iranian Vice President Ali Rahimi warned on Tuesday "If sanctions are adopted against Iranian oil, not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz,” adding "We have no desire for hostilities or violence." (Alarabyia)Rahimi's warning was reinforced on Wednesday by the Commander of Iran's Navy. Press TV reported Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said “Closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces. Iran has comprehensive control over the strategic water way.” Following recent economic sanctions imposed on Iran by Britain, resulting in a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, President Obama is preparing further sanctions that would limit the sale of Iranian oil in an effort to reduce the Islamic Republic's revenue from oil sales. Additionally the European Union is considering an embargo on Iranian oil imports, although this is not likely to have the backing of all member states as some are reliant on Iranian oil imports.
The Strait of Hormuz is a vital route for oil transportation, with around one-fifth of the world's oil passing through it. If sanctions are imposed it could lead to an escalation in the price of oil, in addition to heightened security concerns in the region.
According to CBS the Saudi Oil Ministry has said that other Gulf states are prepared to increase production to cover the shortfall if sanctions restrict Iranian exports. However, there has been no strategic plan released regarding an alternative route for the transportation of oil if Iran does indeed block the Strait of Hormuz.