If the United States blocks Iran’s oil exports, Iran’s president threatened that his nation is prepared to shut the Straits of Hormuz, a critical shipping route and waterway for the world’s oil supplies, CNBC reported Tuesday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told state television, “if someday, the United States decides to block Iran’s oil [exports], no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf.”
In November the U.S. reimposed nuclear sanctions on Iran, targeting its energy sector and has reduced its exports by 1 million barrels a day.
According to CNBC, in 2015 some 18.5 billion barrels of crude oil, accounting for about one-third of all crude shipped overseas, passed through the critical waterway.
Rouhani’s threat was made as the U.S. has ordered a strike group associated with the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to deploy to the Persian Gulf.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that military officials described the move as “a show of force against Iran.”
The carrier group would also be supporting U.S. and allied efforts against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and against the Taliban in Afghanistan.