Iran drafts bill to block Hormuz
DUBAI - Reuters
Amid heightened tensions with Iran, USS Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. AP photoIran's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has drafted a bill calling for Iran to try to stop oil tankers from shipping crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support sanctions against it, a committee member said today.
"There is a bill prepared in the National Security and Foreign Policy committee of Parliament that stresses the blocking of oil tanker traffic carrying oil to countries that have sanctioned Iran," Iranian MP Ibrahim Agha-Mohammadi was quoted by Iran's parliamentary news agency as saying. "This bill has been developed as an answer to the European Union's oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Agha-Mohammadi said that 100 of Tehran's 290 members of parliament had signed the bill as of yesterday.
Iranian threats to block the waterway through which about 17 million barrels a day sailed in 2011 have grown in the past year as U.S. and European sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of funds for its nuclear program have tightened.
A heavy western naval presence in the Gulf and surrounding area is a big impediment to any attempt to block the vital shipping route through which sails most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq and nearly all the gas exported from Qatar.
A European Union ban on imports of Iranian oil started yesterday.