Update 10:46 a.m. Two Iranian officials have now threatened to shutter the Strait of Hormuz. USA Today reports that lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's influential committee on national security, said the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way". USA Today added that another senior lawmaker insinuated that closing the Strait of Hormuz was part of Iran's sovereign rights.
If you had any doubts that Iran's nuclear program was of the peaceful variety, the European Union's immediate oil embargo on Iran shows that you aren't the only one who needs convincing. Restrictions include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum, letting existing contracts run out in July and freezing the assets of the Iranian central bank, according to the AP. "I am confident that the EU will give a resolute answer today to Iran's refusal to fulfill its international obligations on the nuclear programme," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a report by The Telegraph. Westerwelle and the EU aren't buying Iran's repeated claims that its nuclear program is peaceful (despite President Ahmadinejad's "bomb" jokes earlier this month). Just this past weekend, Iranian officials continued that claim when rebuking French President Nicolas Sarkozy's accusation that the country was trying to build a nuclear bomb. "These (sanctions) are peaceful and legitimate measures. They are not about conflict," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "I hope Iran will come to its senses on this issue and agree to negotiate."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.