With the Iranians threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz, the US military has promised to keep Gulf waterways open to oil tankers as the tensions increase on both sides of the equation.

Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command, told the Associated Press news agency on Wednesday that US sailors and its regional allies “stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows”.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday hinted Iran could halt regional exports if it is stopped from exporting oil after the US pulled out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports. They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported,” the website, president.ir, quoted him as saying.

Separately, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Wednesday that they were ready to prevent regional oil exports if Iranian oil sales were banned by the US.

Praising Rouhani’s remarks, Major-General Qassem Soleimani said he was ready to implement such a policy if needed.

“I kiss your (Rouhani’s) hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic,” Soleimani, commander of Quds force, in charge of foreign operations for the Revolutionary Guards, said in a letter published by state news agency IRNA.

The Iranian economy is tanking and they’re having protests across the country. Meanwhile, their leaders are trying to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with the European Union, so they can continue to finance their military operations outside of Iran.

To read the entire article from Al Jazeera News, click here:

Photo courtesy Wikipedia