Iran and the United States traded barbs on Wednesday over Tehran’s warning that it would close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil route.
An Iranian navy commander, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, told state-run Press TV, “Iran has total control over the strategic water way,” and said, “Closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces.”
His statements prompted a response from the U.S. Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.
“The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity,” Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson for the Fifth Fleet, told The New York Times.
She added, “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”
The Department of Defense also issued a similar warning but said that the United States is currently “unaware of any aggressive or hostile action directed against U.S. ships” from Iran, according to the newspaper.