Iran Threatens “Strong Countermeasures” if U.S. Blocks Oil Exports

The game of chicken being played between Iran and the Trump administration continued on Tuesday as the Iranian foreign ministry in Tehran said there will be strong countermeasures taken if the United States continues to try to block its oil exports.

Since announcing they were withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal two months ago U.S. officials have been attempting to convince other countries to reduce their oil imports from Iran. And over the past few days Iran found out that the U.S. is increasing its diplomatic efforts and exerting increased pressure upon oil-importing countries to cut off the spigot on Iranian oil.

“If America wants to take a serious step in this direction it will definitely be met with a reaction and equal countermeasures from Iran,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced through the Iranian governmental news agency IRNA on Tuesday morning.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday announced his support for President Hassan Rouhani’s proposal for Iran to block all Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped.

The already tense relationship between Tehran and the Trump administration has grown significantly worse over the past few days.

On Monday President Donald Trump posted a tweet saying that Iran risked dire consequences “the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it continued to make threats against the United States.

After Trump’s angry tweet Iran immediately dismissed Trump’s warning, escalating the war on words to another level. Then on Tuesday Iran’s parliamentary speaker on Tuesday said that Trump’s comments were “the words of a troublemaker”.

“The United States is experiencing disorder and wildness in its diplomatic relations,” Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Iran has faced the threat of U.S. sanctions since Trump decided in May to withdraw the United States from the 2015 agreement between world powers and Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Trump’s decision to opt out of the nuclear deal which had been negotiated by the Obama administration was criticized by almost every political leader in the United States and around the world.

Trump has adopted a foreign policy of making threats, being belligerent and pretending he’s a tough guy in order to impress his political base of voters in the United States. He has undone many diplomatic agreements and has destabilized the world order.

The midterm elections in November will be the first electoral test for Trump’s policies, and they are not expected to go well for him. Once again it is up to American voters to send a message that Donald Trump’s misguided foreign policy and saber rattling are not acceptable, and it’s time for major changes in Washington.