A crucial passage for one sixth of the oil traded worldwide could be closed if Iran is hit with any more sanctions.
The country’s official news agency has quoted the Iranian vice-president’s threat to stop tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz if there are further restrictions placed on Iranian oil exports.
As well being vital for the transport of fifteen and a half million barrels of oil a day, the 6.4 kilometre wide Strait of Hormuz is also used as the route for transporting nearly all the liquefied natural gas from the leading exporter, Qatar.
The warning comes just three days into a 10-day war games exercise being carried out by the Iranian navy. The military drill comes at a time of heightened tension with the West over Iran’s nuclear programme.
A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November indicated that the country could be working towards creating a nuclear bomb – a claim Iran strongly refutes.