News: Iran's defence minister Ahmad Vahidi has said that the government does not intend to close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf in retaliation for international sanctions, reports Press TV. Vahidi added that the Western sanctions imposed against the country are economic in nature and are in no way related to the country's nuclear energy programme. EU foreign ministers on October 15 agreed to impose fresh round of sanctions against Iran. Previously, the US and the EU imposed sanctions on the country's oil and financial sector. The move was aimed at preventing other countries from buying oil from Iran and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
BMI View: Any Iranian attempt at closure of the Strait of Hormuz would be a high-risk strategy, for it could lead to a more extensive American war against Iran. Tehran would also risk losing international sympathy if it sought to close off one of the world's most important waterways.