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News number: 8710260946

19:55 | 2009-01-15

Foriegn Policy

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Leader's Aide Calls for Using Oil as Weapon against Israel, US

TEHRAN (FNA)- An aide to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said oil could be used as a weapon against Israel, the United States and their allies, echoing an earlier call by an Iranian commander to impose a crude oil embargo over Gaza.



Iran, OPEC's No. 2 oil producer, has said in the past oil could be used as a weapon in rows with the US. A military commander on January 4 called on Islamic countries to cut oil exports to Israel's supporters over the Gaza crisis.

Yahya Rahim Safavi, a former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and now senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said Muslim states were paying "close attention" to actions by the United States, Israel and their allies.

Rahim Safavi said these Muslim states had a "heavy mission and responsibility to defend Islam and the Islamic identity" he said in a speech in which he also discussed Israel's assault on Gaza.

He was speaking to a university gathering.

"Using Islamic states' political and economic capabilities ... such as the energy tool, the oil and gas weapon, and forming a broad will to shut the Zionist regime's embassies are among actions that can show off the power of the Islamic world's unity to heads of global infidels and apostates," he said.

As well as condemning Israel's attacks on Gaza that have killed more than 1070 Palestinians, Iran is at loggerheads with Israel and the United States over Tehran's nuclear.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.

A US attack on the Syrian village of Sukkariyah on October 26, has also raised speculation about the likelihood of a US unilateral strike on the Islamic Republic.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology.

Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.

The ISIS study also cautioned that an attack against Iran would backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry.

Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Iran contradict a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear plans and activities.

Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West's allegations.

Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding that Iran's case be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.