The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made threats towards the distribution of oil should the nation’s sales be affected by the upcoming sanctions from the United States. Khamenei stated that, “If Iran’s oil export is blocked, no other country in the region will export oil either,” during a meeting between various diplomats, Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel, and himself on Saturday. The Islamic Republic’s President, Hassan Rouhani, insinuated that Iran might blockade the Strait of Hormuz should the sanctions move forward and severely affect the countries economy. The Strait of Hormuz is a crucial water passage between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf that facilitates 20% of the Globe’s oil trade.

The first sanctions imposed on Iran are set to go into effect on the Aug. 6 and will target financial institutions. The second wave of sanctions will be against Iran’s oil exportation and will go into action on the Nov. 4. The re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S. comes in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in May, an agreement that the President claimed was the “worst deal ever.” Ayatollah Khamenei said that, “I have previously pointed out that Americans’ words or even signatures cannot be relied on; thus negotiations with the U.S. are useless.”

President Rouhani and other officials from Iran have been traveling to various international trade partners to salvage the deal. Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, along with many other Iranian allies have stated they will do everything in their power to stop the sanctions from taking effect. Ayatollah Khamenei expressed his belief that, “Negotiations with the Europeans will not stop; however, we should not linger, waiting for the European pack. Meanwhile, the numerous tasks that need to be carried out inside the country should be followed up.”

Featured image: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Khomeini at the 27th anniversary of Ruhollah Khomeini’s death. | Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons