EU passes Iran oil embargo

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Iran responded to the EU sanctions Monday by threatening once again to close the Strait of Hormuz, a thin passageway to the Persian Gulf through which nearly 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of Iran’s Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said Monday that Iran could shut the Strait of Hormuz if it is threatened, according to Iran’s PressTV.

Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's committee on national security, said the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way,” according to The Associated Press.

Iran had initially threatened last month to close the strait in response to the economic sanctions, and then warned U.S. carriers not to go through the strait into the Persian Gulf after the USS John Stennis left the strait last month.

But Iran backed down from those threats over the weekend, as the USS Abraham Lincoln, flanked by British and French ships, went through the strait and into the gulf without incident on Sunday.

Military analysts say that closing the strait would amount to economic suicide for Iran, as the country’s economy relies heavily on its oil exports.