Nobody can secure the Gulf except Iran and other countries of the region, the deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards has said, as quoted by Reuters.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Rouhani said during talks with Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that in case oil sanctions against Iran are introduced and its oil exports are brought to zero, international sea routs will not be as safe as they used to be.
Previously, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US would take every action to prevent Iran's tanker Grace 1 from delivering oil to Syria. He also stressed that any country that decides to assist the Iranian tanker would face sanctions from the US.
The US issued a warrant to seize Grace 1 last Friday, citing alleged sanctions violations. Gibraltar rejected the request, saying that there is a difference between the positions of the US and the EU concerning sanctions on Iran. Iran said on Sunday that Grace 1 sailed for international waters following its release from Gibraltar.
Tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf since the US strengthened its military presence in the region in what it described as a 'direct message' to Iran. The move was followed by the seizure of the Iranian Grace 1 oil tanker in early July and the detention of the British-flagged 'Stena Impero' tanker by Iran a couple of weeks later.
Last month the US suggested creating an international maritime coalition to patrol the Gulf and 'ensure freedom of navigation' in the region. As of today, only the UK and Australia have joined the US-led mission.