Kuwait MPs urge gov’t to take Iranian threats seriously

Kuwaiti parliamentarians on Friday called on the government to deal seriously with Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipments.

Iranian officials, including President Hasan Rouhani, have threatened to close the strategic waterway if the U.S. took steps to hinder Iranian petroleum exports.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Kuwaiti MP Osama al-Shaheen described the threats as the latest manifestation of Iranian aggression.

On Wednesday, Ismail Kuthari, vice-commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (RGC), vowed to block the passage of oil shipments through the strait if the U.S. tried to degrade his country's ability to export oil.

Qasem Soleimani, commander of the RGC's elite Quds Force, meanwhile, was quoted by Iranian media outlets as saying he was ready to carry out any orders.

This dispute is strictly between the U.S. and Iran, al-Shaheen said. But the threats being made are aimed at the [Arab] Gulf States.

At the same parliamentary meeting, MP Adel al-Damakhi requested a special session to review the government's readiness to deal with possible Iranian escalations.

Closure of the strait to oil shipments will have consequences for the national security of all the Gulf States,al-Damakhi was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai.

It would threaten the economy of the Gulf in general and that of Kuwait in particular, he said.

He went on to urge the government to prepare for such a scenario and take the necessary precautions.

On Monday, the U.S. State Department announced its intention to reduce Iranian oil revenue to zero.

The following day, Rouhani warned that if Iran's oil exports were impeded by the U.S., those of the region's other oil-producers would suffer a similar fate.

According to OPEC, Iran's crude oil production stood at some 3.8 million barrels per day in May, of which some 2 million barrels were exported to foreign markets.

Tension between Washington and Tehran has mounted since May, when the U.S. withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).

The 2015 agreement placed strict restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Source: Anadolu Agency