Ramin Mehmanparast

Iran has confirmed the receipt of a U.S. letter addressed to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about the security of the Strait of Hormuz.

ISNA reports that Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said on Sunday: “America’s message to us about the security of the Strait of Hormuz has been relayed by the U.S. representative at the UN to our representative at the UN, and also through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran to this ministry.” He added that the message had also been relayed through Iraqi President Jalal Talebani.

The New York Times previously reported that U.S. President Barack Obama had sent a letter to the leader of the Islamic Republic. According to The New York Times, the United States has indicated that it will respond if Iran blocks shipping traffic in the Strait of Hormuz.

Mehmanparast also touched on the issue of the strategic waterway, saying: “The Strait of Hormuz is the vital passageway to provide the necessary energy for the world, and Iran will use all its power to protect its security, and all of our defence forces are being used to provide security for this region.”

Following news that Iran’s oil may come under international sanctions, Iranian Vice-president Mohammadreza Rahimi was quoted as saying that if foreign countries decide to put sanctions on Iranian crude, Iran would close off the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. has reacted to such threats by saying it will not tolerate any interruption in the strait’s normal traffic. Britain has also announced that it will join U.S. forces to respond to any obstruction of the Strait of Hormuz.

In addition to Iranian oil, the strait accommodates oil exports from Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and a large portion of Saudi and UAE oil exports.