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Iran's Rouhani threatens to cut off Gulf oil

Hassan Rouhani
In his latest warning over US sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States that if Tehran is not able to export oil then they would act to stop any country in the Gulf from doing the same.

US officials have said they intend to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero through robust sanctions in an effort to curb the Islamic Republic’s missile program and regional influence.

"America should know... it is not capable of preventing the export of Iran's oil," Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan Province on Tuesday.

"If it ever tries to do so... no oil will be exported from the Arabian Gulf," he added.

Iran has issued repeated threats to blockade Gulf states and shut the Strait of Hormuz, a major conduit for oil and other exports from the GCC area, in response to international pressure.

Washington has reimposed sanctions, including an oil embargo, since withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May.

It has granted temporary waivers to eight countries, including Iraq, who are heavily dependent on oil imports from Tehran, on condition that they seek alternative sources. Saudi Arabia has said it will increase production to compensate for the reduction of supply from Iran.

The latest inflation report from Iran's Central Bank says food prices rose 56 per cent year-on-year in October.

Rouhani acknowledged there were "some problems", but said these would be addressed in the new budget plan to be presented on December 16.

He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential goods and increase public-sector wages and pensions by 20 per cent.
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