July 24 (Reuters) – Iran will respond with equal countermeasures if the United States tries to block its oil exports, the foreign ministry in Tehran said on Tuesday.
U.S. officials are stepping up diplomatic efforts to pressure countries to stop importing Iranian oil.
“If America wants to take a serious step in this direction it will definitely be met with a reaction and equal countermeasures from Iran,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran might block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped.
Already fraught relations between Tehran and Washington have worsened in recent days.
On Monday, Iran dismissed an angry warning from President Donald Trump that it risked dire consequences “the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it made threats against the United States.
Iran’s parliamentary speaker on Tuesday described Trump’s comments as “the words of a troublemaker”.
“The United States is experiencing disorder and wildness in its diplomatic relations,” Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Iran has faced the threat of U.S. sanctions since Trump decided in May to withdraw the United States from a 2015 agreement between world powers and Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by John Stonestreet)