Iran’s military has the final say regarding the fate of Strait of Hormuz, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.
"I don’t talk about military options as it's up to military people to decide but we have said that Iran will protect its interests and one of our interests is stability in the region," Zarif said in statements cited by the official IRNA news agency upon his arrival to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly and meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"Stability should be for everybody, economic prosperity should be for everybody," he said.
Earlier this week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards General Ali Reza Tengseiri renewed threats to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is prevented from using the strategic waterway to export oil.
Tengseiri's threats came hours after the U.S. announced plans to end all temporary exemptions for countries that still buy Iranian oil.
The move came as part of the White House’s policy of exerting “maximum pressure” on Iran with a view to bringing the country’s petroleum revenue to zero.
Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to close the strait, one of the global oil trade’s most important waterways, amid steadily mounting tensions with the U.S.
The lion’s share of petroleum from the region’s top producers -- including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait -- passes through the Strait of Hormuz en route to oil-thirsty markets in the Far East.
Reporting by Ahmet Dursun in Tehran
Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg