Any armed clash between Iran and the United States in the Persian Gulf would lead to an immediate jump in oil prices to above the $100 a barrel mark and hit the economies of US and its allies, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has warned.
"The first bullet fired in the Persian Gulf will push oil prices above $100 [per barrel]," Safavi said Sunday, according to the Fars News Agency. "This would be unbearable to America, Europe and US allies like Japan and South Korea," the senior officer stressed.
"The Americans are fully aware that their military forces (in the region) are within Iran's missile range and all US and foreign nav[ies] in the Persian Gulf are within the range of land-to-sea missiles of the Revolutionary Guards," Safavi added, referring to Iran's well-stocked arsenal of mostly home-grown missile systems.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that the US would be willing to talk to Iran if it began behaving 'like a normal nation', adding that problems in US-Iranian ties were caused by the presence of the "Islamic regime" in Iran, and not by US sanctions. Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would be willing to speak to the US side if it were shown respect and if the US followed internationally accepted rules of conduct.
Oil prices slumped over 3 percent Friday amid global trade tensions, with Brent crude futures finishing at $64.49 a barrel in trading, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures finished at $53.50 a barrel.