Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei met with Foreign Ministry officials and Iranian diplomats on Saturday. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s Supreme Leader threatened to block oil exports throughout the region if Iran’s oil sales are impeded under sanctions.
“If Iran’s oil export is blocked, no other country in the region will export oil either,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday in a meeting with Foreign Ministry officials and Iranian diplomats.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had previously hinted
that Tehran could shut the Strait of Hormuz – a strategic waterway that handles as much as 20 percent of the world’s oil.
The first round of US sanctions on Iran will come into force on August 6. Oil-related sanctions will be imposed on November 4.
In May, Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal – an agreement US President Donald Trump has called the “worst deal ever.”
“I have previously pointed out that Americans' words or even signatures cannot be relied on; thus negotiations with the US are useless,” Khamenei said, in comments published on his website.
Iranian officials, including Rouhani, have traversed the globe on a diplomatic mission to save the nuclear deal after Washington withdrew from the agreement in May.
Europe, Russia, and China all want the deal to survive.
“Negotiations with the Europeans do not to stop; however, we should not linger, waiting for the European pack,” said Khamenei.
“Meanwhile, the numerous tasks that need to be carried out inside the country should be followed up,” he added.
Iran is promoting domestic production of goods and has banned the import of some goods.