TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a new underground site well protected from possible airstrikes, a leading hardline newspaper reported Sunday in another show of defiance against Western pressure to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program.
Another newspaper quoted a senior commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guard force as saying Tehran’s leadership has decided to order the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic oil route, if the country’s petroleum exports are blocked. Revolutionary Guard ground forces also staged war games in eastern Iran in an apparent display of resolve against U.S. forces just over the border in Afghanistan.
“The supreme authorities … have insisted that if enemies block the export of our oil, we won’t allow a drop of oil to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. This is the strategy of the Islamic Republic in countering such threats,” Revolutionary Guard deputy commander Ali Ashraf Nouri was quoted as saying by the Khorasan daily.