Iran accused Europeans on Monday of waging "psychological warfare" after the EU banned imports of Iranian oil, joining the United States in new sanctions aimed at preventing Tehran from getting nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic, which denies trying to build an atom bomb, scoffed at efforts to choke its oil exports. Some Iranians also renewed threats to stop Arab oil from leaving the Gulf and warned they might strike US targets worldwide if Washington used force to break any Iranian blockade of a strategically vital shipping route.
Yet in three decades of confrontation between Tehran and the West, bellicose rhetoric and the undependable armoury of sanctions have become so familiar that the benchmark Brent crude oil price edged less than 0.5 percent higher, and some of that was due to unrelated currency factors.
"If any disruption happens regarding the sale of Iranian oil, the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be closed," Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, told Fars news agency a day after US, French and British warships sailed back into the Gulf.
"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," Kossari added, referring to an earlier US pledge to use its fleet to keep the passage open.
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