The Chief Editor of hardliner Kayhan daily in Tehran says that closing the Hormuz Strait is the “incontrovertible right” of Iran and “we should not hesitate.”
Hossein Shariatmadari, who is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative at the flagship conservative paper wrote the commentary after the United States this week issued a statement reiterating past seizure of Iranian arms destined to Yemen’s Houthis and oil for Venezuela in international waters.
Washington also announced new sanctions on Iranian security officials and entities for human rights violations, including killing protesters and abuse in prisons.
Shariatmadari also said that these US actions coincide with the resumption of nuclear talks in Vienna, and show “the empty-handedness of America and the West” in the negotiations. He added that the United States should know it cannot get concessions from Iran by “empty promises”.
Iran has made similar threats in the past, but the closure of the strait will also chock off Iran's trade amid its current economic crisis.
Iran’s new hardliner negotiating team is demanding all post-2018 American sanctions to be lifted all at once before Iran agrees to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA.
The United States has expressed dismay at Iran’s position and has said that if talks in Vienna do not show Tehran’s seriousness, it is ready to ramp up pressure.