A dhow carrying tourists cruises off the Oman's Khasab shores along the Strait of Hormuz on January 15
A dhow carrying tourists cruises off the Oman's Khasab shores along the Strait of Hormuz on January 15. Iran would not try to block the Strait of Hormuz unless a foreign power seeks to "tighten the noose" in a growing nuclear showdown with the West, Tehran's UN envoy said Thursday. © Marwan Naamani - AFP/File
A dhow carrying tourists cruises off the Oman's Khasab shores along the Strait of Hormuz on January 15
AFP
Last updated: January 20, 2012

Closing Gulf oil route remains option for Iran

Iran would not try to block the Strait of Hormuz unless a foreign power seeks to "tighten the noose" in a growing nuclear showdown with the West, Tehran's UN envoy said Thursday.

"All the options are or would be on the table," if Iran is threatened, ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said on US television, referring to the strategic shipping route, which is a chokepoint for one fifth of the world's traded oil.

"There is no decision to block and close the Strait of Hormuz unless Iran is threatened seriously and somebody wants to tighten the noose," Khazaee said on the Charlie Rose show.

"We believe that the Strait of Hormuz should be the strait of peace and stability," the envoy added. "But if foreign powers want to create trouble in the Persian Gulf, of course it would be the right of Iran as well as the rest of the countries in the region to try to defend themselves."

Amid growing speculation of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Khazaee said the growing tensions should be end through "peace, dialogue and stability."

Iran has accused Israel of involvement in the killings of its nuclear scientists. But the ambassador said he did not think Israel would try to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. "There are enough wise politicians around the world to advise them in case if they want to do that not to do it," he said.

The United States, France, Britain and Germany accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Iran says its atomic drive is peaceful.

The United Nations said meanwhile that there an "urgent need" to defuse tensions between Iran and the West through dialogue.

The solution "also includes the need on the part of the Iranian authorities to prove to the satisfaction of the international community that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

He added that because of the Strait of Hormuz's key role for oil supplies, UN leader Ban Ki-moon believes "it is important that free passage be guaranteed in accordance with the law of the sea."

Ban has discussed the Iran tensions with leaders from China and Gulf states during talks in recent days.

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