Iran threatens ‘firm response’ if Israel tackles its efforts to smuggle out oil to evade US sanctions
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called last week on the world community to stop Iran from shipping oil abroad.
PM Netanyahu also announced that it will deploy the Israeli Navy to help tackle Iranian efforts to smuggle out oil via maritime routes to evade US sanctions.
If the Israeli Navy attempts to hamper Iran’s oil sales, Tehran “will firmly respond”, the Iranian Minister of Defense Amir Hatami stated Wednesday.
The defense minister also noted that Israeli actions would be seen as “piracy” if the navy would act against Iran.
“The Iranian armed forces have certainly the capabilities to protect the country’s shipping lines in the best way against any possible threat,” Hatami said.
According to maritime experts, Iran has used a variety of measures to evade sanctions, including changing the names of ships or flag registries, switching off location transponders on ships and conducting ship-to-ship transfers offshore and away from large trade hubs.
The Israeli navy, whose largest vessels are missile corvettes and a small submarine fleet, is mostly active in the Mediterranean and Red seas.
Iranian officials have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route in the Gulf if the United States attempts to stop the Islamic Republic´s oil smuggling.