TEHRAN, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iran's armed forces would protect the country's oil tankers against possible U.S. threats in international waters, a deputy commander of Iran's Navy said Monday.
"Iran's armed forces are prepared to protect our fleet of oil tankers against any threats in the marine waterways ... as they have in the past 40 years," Mahmoud Mousavi was quoted as saying by Press TV.
His remarks came days after Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, threatened to punish countries and port operators which provide access to international waterways and port facilities for Iranian ships.
"From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are a floating liability," Hook said.
"Self-insured Iranian tankers are a risk to the ports that permit them to dock (and) the canals that allow them to transit," he added.
On Nov. 5, Washington reinstated all its sanctions against Iran that had been removed under the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, targeting many of the country's critical sectors such as energy, shipping and finance.