Following the U.S. move to tighten sanctions on Iran late last year, the European Union has moved to ban the import of all Iranian crude oil and petroleum products — a measure that may lead to the Iranians closing the vital Strait of Hormuz.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a joint statement in response to the EU decision to impose further sanctions on Iran:
An excerpt from the statement reads:
Our message is clear. We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. But the Iranian leadership has failed to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran has so far had no regard for its international obligations and is already exporting and threatening violence around its region.
Following the European sanctions, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s third-largest bank, Bank Tejarat, for providing financial services to several Iranian banks and firms already subject to international sanctions for involvement in nuclear activities.
Amid dealing with heavy sanctions, Iran has warned if the country closes the Strait of Hormuz, the United States should not intervene.
“If America seeks adventures after the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran will make the world unsafe for Americans in the shortest possible time,” Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, told Fars news agency a day after U.S., French and British warships sailed back into the Gulf, according to Reuters.