Obama Warns Iran Against Closing Straits

By Haaretz

Published January 13, 2012.

President Barack Obama used secret channels to warn Iran against closing the Strait of Hormuz, the New York Times reported on Friday, amid recent tensions over the possible closing of the strategic waterway.

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the U.S. would act if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon or close the Strait of Hormuz.

Also referring to recent tensions over the waterway, through which passes a fifth of the world’s supply of crude oil, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said on Sunday that that Iran has the military power to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time” if it decides to do so, but that the U.S. would take action to reopen waterway. “We can defeat that,” he said.

Panetta said closing the strait would draw a U.S. military response. “We made very clear that the United States will not tolerate the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz,” he said. “That’s another red line for us and … we will respond to them.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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