Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against its oil shipments
U.S. President Donald Trump last year quit a nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed some sanctions, aiming to cut Tehran’s oil exports to zero.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told naval officers last week that Iran was still resorting to clandestine measures to ship fuel.
Iran’s Minister of Defence, Amir Hatami, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA that Tehran had the military capabilities to confront any Israeli intervention, and said the international community would also not accept such action.
Hatami said such confrontation would be considered as “piracy” and warned that “if it happens, we will firmly respond.’’
An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander also said on Wednesday that enemies will regret any confrontation with the Islamic Republic.
“We never welcome any war, but we are ready to respond to any invasion.
“We hope the aggressors do not need to understand this point by trying it and paying a high price,’’ Major General Gholamali Rashid was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
The Israeli navy, whose largest vessels are missile corvettes and a small submarine fleet, is mostly active in the Mediterranean and Red seas.
Iran has one of the world’s biggest tanker fleets in the world.
In November, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook called Iranian vessels a “floating liability”, saying the U.S. sanctions would bar them from international insurance markets, making them a risk for ports and canals which allow them access.