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Khamenei Supports Blocking Region's Oil Exports If Iran's Exports Stopped

Khamenei Supports Blocking Region's Oil Exports If Iran's Exports Stopped

Rouhani's apparent warning on July 3 to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries came in reaction to looming USA sanctions and efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to force all countries to halt purchases of Iranian oil.

Iran is facing increased United States pressure and looming sanctions after Mr Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 global deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran's illicit activities - ranging from espionage to support for Hezbollah and the spread of religious extremism - are cited 48 times in Hamburg's intelligence report.

"Americans should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace. likewise a war would be the mother of all wars".

Iranian officials, including Rouhani, have traversed the globe on a diplomatic mission to save the nuclear deal after Washington withdrew from the agreement in May. Proposals by European Union nations for economic "guarantees" to Iran have so far been judged "insufficient" by Tehran.

Europe opposes the move and has vowed to find ways of maintaining its trade ties with Iran, which under the deal curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

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The US has provided a list of 12 demands that says Tehran needs to accept if it seeks relief from Washington's threats.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed Rouhani's suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are halted.

"I have reiterated that we can not rely on the American words and even their signature, therefore, negotiations with them are fruitless", he was quoted as saying.

Also in a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet in Tehran on July 15, Ayatollah Khamenei said the European signatories to the nuclear deal must provide Tehran with necessary guarantees about the continued implementation of the deal.

An Iranian technician walks through the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, Iran, February 3, 2007.

On Wednesday, the chief of Iran's nuclear agency Ali Akbar Salehi said that his country's effort to acquire uranium has resulted in a stockpile of as much as 950 tons.