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Tue 20 Mar 2012 06:03 PM

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Iran tells Kuwait's ruler it won't block Strait

HH Sheikh Sabah says he has received assurances from Iran over Strait blockade

Iran tells Kuwait's ruler it won't block Strait
(AFP/Getty Images)

The ruler of Kuwait has received assurances from Iran that the Strait of Hormuz will not be blockaded.

In a statement carried by Kuwait’s state-run KUNA news agency, HH Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said that the Gulf state had also been stockpiling oil supplies via companies based outside of Kuwait.

On a state visit to Japan, KUNA reported that Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah told Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun: “The Strait of Hormuz is considered a vital artery for the world as approximately half of the oil supply passes through it, and the GCC countries, including Kuwait, have contacted officials in Iran to ensure that no action is taken to close the Strait of Hormuz.

“We have received assurances from Iran that it will not take this step. And international efforts are also in this direction.”

Kuwait’s emir added that the oil-rich nation was also “utilising international expertise” in order to increase its current oil output.

The possibility of closure has since sparked panic among the Arabian Gulf’s biggest oil producers, who are reliant on the strait to export their petroleum products.

Iran threatened earlier this year to close the Strait, at the mouth of the Gulf, in response to sanctions that the US and Europe are imposing because of the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme

Earlier today, it was confirmed that build a terminal for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a port that would bypass the need for vessels to pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

Fujairah’s coastline is on the Gulf of Oman, which empties into the Indian Ocean.