Oil to surpass $100 if first bullet fired in Persian Gulf: Rahim Safavi

June 2, 2019

TEHRAN – Oil prices will jump beyond $100 a barrel if the first bullet in fired in the Persian Gulf, a top military aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, warning that the U.S. military vessels in the Persian Gulf are within the range of Iranian missiles.

Yahya Rahim Safavi said, “The Americans are fully aware that their military forces (in the region) are within the Iran's missile range and all U.S. and foreigners’ navy in the Persian Gulf are within the range of land-to-sea missiles of the Revolution Guards." 

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers aimed to put limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions. 

Washington re-imposed sanctions last year and ratcheted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil. In recent weeks it has also hinted at military confrontation, saying it was sending extra forces to the Middle East to respond to an Iranian threat. 

“The first bullet fired in the Persian Gulf will push oil prices above $100. This would be unbearable to America, Europe and the U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea,” Rahim Safavi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. 

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, calling it the “worst ever deal”, “flawed”, “horror show|”, etc. He also says it does not include Iran’s ballistic missile program and Tehran’s role in the Middle East.

Trump said last week he was hopeful Iran would come to negotiating table to reach a new deal. 

On Sunday, Iran’s military chief Major General Mohammad Bagheri dismissed any negotiations with Washington on Iran's missile program.

“The Iranian nation with not retreat an iota from Iran’s defensive capabilities,” Bagheri said, according to the Fars news agency. 

President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday suggested Iran may be willing to hold talks if the United States showed it respect, but he insisted that Tehran would not be pressured into negotiations. 

SP/PA

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