US to keep Persian Gulf waterway open despite Iran threats

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, arrives at the Zurich airport, in Kloten, Switzerland. Monday, July 2, 2018. Hassan Rouhani is on a two day state visit to Switzerland(KEYSTONE/Walter Bieri)

US military reiterates promise to keep Persian Gulf waterway open to oil tankers as Iran renewed threats to shut it

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. military is reiterating a promise to keep Persian Gulf waterways open to oil tankers as Iran renewed threats to close off the region.

Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that American sailors and its regional allies "stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday suggested Iran could halt regional exports if it is stopped from exporting oil after America pulled out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

Meanwhile, Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani reportedly sent a letter to Rouhani applauding his stance.

Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's expeditionary Quds Force, said his forces were "ready for any policy."

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