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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Warns West on Oil Embargo

RIA Novosti

15:09 19/01/2012 ANKARA, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Thursday urged the West to think twice before introducing an oil embargo against his country over the situation around the Strait of Hormuz.

Tensions between Iran and the West have escalated in the past few weeks after Tehran threatened to stop oil supplies passing through the Strait of Hormuz if economic sanctions imposed by Western nations limit or prevent Iranian oil exports.

“Iran is used to embargos, which have been introduced against it over the past 12 years. We certainly don’t welcome sanctions and so we call on the West to think hard before taking such measures,” he told Turkey’s NTV channel.

“We don’t need the Americans or Britons to ensure security in the Persian Gulf,” he said, cautioning the countries in the region “not to endanger themselves.”

The minister also confirmed Tehran’s readiness to resume six-party negotiations with international mediators on Iran’s nuclear problem.

“Iran is ready for negotiations and that is its official position,” he said.

Oil exports make up some 80 percent of Iran’s foreign revenues and Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the export route for one third of global seaborne traded oil, in response to sanctions.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said such a move would provoke a response.

The U.S., other Western powers and Israel suspect Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is purely civilian.

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