Iran, US escalate war of words over Strait of Hormuz
Iran on Thursday dismissed the U.S. warning over the possible closing the Strait of Hormuz. The deputy general commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying "our response to threats will be threats."
Gen. Hossein Salami added "We have no doubts in our ability to implement our defensive strategies to protect our vital interests - we will act firmly and unequivocally than ever before."
These statements were made one day after a stern warning by the Pentagon that the U.S. "will not allow to disrupt maritime traffic and the passage of ships through the Strait of Hormuz." On its part, the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet on Wednesday said it will not “tolerate” any disruption in the Strait of Hormuz. "[The fleet] maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities," a spokesperson for the fleet said on Wednesday.
The U.S. messages were in response to the words of Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, who said earlier this week: "We will not allow the transfer of a drop of oil through the Strait of Hormuz," if the West intensified its sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.