Iranian MPs present bill to close Strait of Hormuz

Published July 2nd, 2012 - 07:59 GMT

Some 100 members of the Iranian parliament signed a bill to prohibit the passage of oil tankers sauling in the Strait of Hormuz to European countries that have imposed an embargo against Iranian oil, Iranian media reported on Monday. "This project is a response to the oil sanctions by the European Union against the Islamic Republic," said Ebrahim Agha Mohammadi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament. He was quoted by the Mehr news agency.

"Under this bill, the government has a duty to prevent the movement of tankers carrying oil to the countries that imposed oil sanctions against Iran," he added.

The European Union has decreed as of July 1 a total embargo on Iranian oil imports as well as a ban to European firms to insure tankers carrying Iranian oil.

According to estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the sanctions, announced in January, have caused since the beginning of the year a 30% drop in exports of Iranian crude, which fell to 1.5 million barrels / day in May against more than 2.1 m b / d in late 2011. Iranian officials reject these estimates and argue instead that exports are stable and production increased to 3.75 mb / d.

In recent months, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is responsible for 35% of world's crude oil transported by sea, in case of sanctions against its oil exports. However, Iranian political and military leaders also assured in certain events they did not intend to carry out these threats.

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