Mohammad Khazai

Iran’s representative at the United Nations has announced that Iran is not bent on blocking the Strait of Hormiz, but serious threats against the Islamic Republic would mean that all options are on the table. Mohammad Khazai also rejected recent reports that Iran is extending arms assistance to Syria.

Khazai, the permanent Iranian envoy at the UN, said in an interview with Charlie Rose that

He added, however, that at the moment there are no concrete plans to block the strategic waterway, which carries one-fifth of the world’s oil trade.

He said that if foreign powers try to create problems in the Persian Gulf, Iran and the other countries in the region have the right to defend themselves.

Recently, a wave of international threats to impose sanctions on Iranian oil prompted Iran’s Vice-President to say that if Iranian oil became the target of a boycott, the Islamic Republic would cut off traffic through the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States responded that it would not tolerate any disturbance in the strait’s daily traffic, and U.S. President Barack Obama sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader to discuss the security of the strait.

In his interview, Mohammad Khazai rejected allegations that Iran is giving military assistance to Syria, adding that Iran generally refrains from meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.

He said, however, that Iran has evidence that the French government is giving arms assistance to anti-government groups in Syria.

The U.S. and Britain have accused Iran of extending arms assistance to the government of Bashar Assad for putting down protests in Syria.