A Reuters headline early Monday sparked fears that Iran could be in control of the Strait of Hormuz, a key narrow waterway in the Persian Gulf through which about one-third of the global supply of oil passes.
Reuters reported in its story headline, Iran says it has full control of Gulf and U.S. navy does not belong there, while citing the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), General Alireza Tangsiri.
According to the report, “Tangsiri said Iran had full control of both the Gulf itself and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it,” and further cited the general as saying, “Closing off the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping”.
“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” General Alireza Tangsiri said in the quote, which appeared in English translation via Iranian state media.
This sparked subsequent reporting that Iran had effectively blocked the strait; however, a FOX story noted, “A check of conditions on MaritimeTraffic.com on Monday showed that conditions appeared to be normal, with heavy maritime traffic through the strait.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded Monday night: “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways.”
But the elite IRGC naval commander’s words are likely to raise tensions with Washington further, after prior remarks from both President Rouhani as well as other IRGC generals in early July suggesting that should White House sanctions seek to devastate Iranian oil exports, then no oil at all should pass through the area.
Full article: Confusion Looms As Iran Claims Control Over Key Oil Waterway (ZeroHedge)