The chairman of the Iranian military's Joint Chiefs of Staff says Tehran will block the strategic Strait of Hormuz if it determines that the Islamic Republic's interests are seriously threatened.
Gen. Hasan Firouzabadi's comments Saturday to Iranian media come less than a week after the European Union imposed an embargo on Iran's vital oil-sector to pressure Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.
The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
Firouzabadi did not specify what would constitute a threat to Iran's interests, and did not mention the new EU sanctions.
But Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has warned in the past that it would close the strait, through which about one-fifth of the world's oil is shipped, if Tehran's oil exports are blocked.