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Iranian lawmakers warn of attack against US if Iran's oil trade disrupted

Iranian lawmakers have warned that agents might strike US targets worldwide if Washington uses force to break any blockade of Strait of Hormuz that Tehran imposes in response to EU sanctions.

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A handout image provided by the US Navy shows ships assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group trailing behind the guided missile destroyer USS Momsen during a straight transit exercise January 26, 2008 off the coast of Southern California. (James R. Evans/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian lawmakers have warned that agents might strike US targets worldwide if Washington uses force to break any blockade of Strait of Hormuz that Tehran imposes in response to EU sanctions.

"If any disruption happens regarding the sale of Iranian oil, the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be closed," Reuters cited Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, as telling Fars news agency.

"If America seeks adventures after the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran will make the world unsafe for Americans in the shortest possible time," Kossari reportedly added.

Another senior lawmaker, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said meantime that: "In case of threat, the closure of the Strait of Hormuz is one of Iran's rights."

The warning came a day after the EU further limited the sale of Iranian oil, agreeing on an embargo against Tehran as part of sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

The measure means that new contracts on Iranian crude will be banned and existing ones will run out in July.

And US, French and British warships sailed back into the Persian Gulf on Monday, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph, heightening tension in the region.

Iran's navy had specifically warned that it would react if the US tried to redeploy one of its aircraft carriers to the waterway.

(GlobalPost reports: US aircraft carrier sails through Strait of Hormuz despite Iranian warning)

According to the Daily Beast, the US has repeatedly said it would not tolerate the blocking of the strait, a key transit route for global oil supplies, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called the move a "red line."

In Washington, President Barack Obama said in a statement that the EU sanctions underlined the strength of the international community's commitment to "addressing the serious threat presented by Iran's nuclear program."

"The United States will continue to impose new sanctions to increase the pressure on Iran," Obama said.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, meantime, said that he would consider it an "act of war" if Iran was to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s crude oil flows. 

"It is appropriate and essential for our military, for our navy to maintain open seas," Romney said at a debate between the four remaining Republican candidates in Tampa, Florida, Agence France-Presse reported. "Of course it's an act of war."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120124/iran-attack-us-eu-oil-embargo-strait-hormuz-mitt-romney-nuclear-weapons