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Iran lawmakers prepare to close Hormuz Strait

Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would close the Strait of Hormuz for oil tankers heading to countries supporting current economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

­"There is a bill prepared in the National Security and Foreign Policy committee of Parliament that stresses the blocking of oil tanker traffic carrying oil to countries that have sanctioned Iran," Iranian MP Ibrahim Agha-Mohammadi told reporters.

"This bill has been developed as an answer to the European Union's oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Agha-Mohammadi said that 100 of Tehran's 290 members of parliament had signed the bill as of Sunday.

Iran's threats to block the waterway through which about 17 million barrels a day sailed in 2011 have grown in the past year as US and European sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of funds for its nuclear programme have tightened.

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital shipping route through which most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq and nearly all the gas exported from Qatar sails.

An EU ban on Iranian oil imports came into effect on Sunday.

Investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter believes the bill’s introduction is a step in a series of actions that Iran can take to hamper oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, causing oil prices to skyrocket.

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http://www.rt.com/news/iran-bill-hormuz-strait-218/