December 28, 2011 - 10:32 AMT
U.S. says Iran attempts to distract attention from nuclear program

Iran’s statement on Strait of Hormuz blockade is an attempt to distract attention away from its nuclear program, according to U.S. State Department spokesman.

As Mark Toner told a briefing in Washington, the U.S. has nothing against ongoing military drills, adding that U.S. navy, too, from time to time conducts drills in its waters.

“We’ve been very clear the path we’re pursuing, which is a – the two roads, if you will, of sanctions and increased sanctions and pressure on Iran if it continues not to comply. But the other path is one towards greater openness and engagement with the West if it does comply. That hasn’t changed,” the spokesman stated.

Earlier, on December 27, Iran's First Vice-President warned that the flow of crude will be stopped from the crucial Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if foreign sanctions are imposed on its oil exports.

The Strait of Hormuz is of strategic significance as the passageway for about a third of the world's oil tanker traffic. Beyond it lie vast bodies of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet is also active in the area, as are warships of several other countries that patrol for pirates there, AP reported.