US Navy: Will Protect Commerce in Face of Iran Oil Threat

07 July, 2018, 04:03 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • David Peterlin

Trump said he was unilaterally pulling out of the deal negotiated by his predecessor because he felt it wasn't strong enough and didn't cover other issues of concern to the US and its allies, such as Iran's military influence in the Middle East and a ballistic missile program.

Since Trump's shock move in May, which dismayed all other signatories, Washington has warned other countries to end trade and investment in Iran and stop buying its oil from early November or face punitive measures.

"The US and its partners provide, and promote security and stability in the region", Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters.

American troops in the Middle East are prepared to keep a vital crude-oil transit lane open after Iranian officials threatened to block it over the threat of new sanctions.

Asked what would be the USA naval reaction if Iran blocks the strait, he said: "Together, we stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever worldwide law allows". It also specifies the fuel Arak must use and says its spent fuel for the reactor's lifetime must be shipped out of Iran.

The Guards' naval arm lacks a strong conventional fleet.

Trump in May slammed the nuclear accord signed under his predecessor Barack Obama as "horrible" and "defective at its core", earning applause from Iran's regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said on Friday that the remaining parties to the nuclear deal had agreed to work out ways of trading with Iran independently of the United States' "whim". Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories will discuss the European proposal with Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday. Even though Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the United States actions "de-facto disrupted the agreement", thus giving Iran a right to withdraw from it as well, the Islamic Republic would not exercise this right, according to Lavrov.

Speaking after three hours of talks, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who chaired the talks, read a statement from the six delegations repeating previously-announced broad priorities ranging from guaranteeing Iranian oil revenue to shipping ties, banking and all other trade and investment co-operation.

Rouhani had Thursday told French President Emmanuel Macron by phone that the Europe-led offer of economic measures did "not meet all our demands", Iran's state news agency IRNA reported.

Ahead of the talks, Iranian President Hassan Rohani told the leaders of France and Germany that a European package of economic measures to counter the effects of USA sanctions does not go far enough, Iranian news agencies are reporting.

Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel late on Thursday.

Iran, which strongly denies ever seeking to build a nuclear bomb, has warned it could resume uranium enrichment for civilian purposes if the deal collapses.

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