TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said the Navy has ensured freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz but stressed that keeping the strait open hinges on the Islamic Republic’s interests.

“The function of straits is heavily dependent on their being open; sanctions heavily affect the function,” Rear Admiral Khanzadi told reporters in a press conference in the northern city of Nowshahr on Tuesday.

“The (US) sanctions against Iran affect the functions of the Strait of Hormuz,” he said, adding that the strait is part of the interests of the Islamic Republic, and the Iranian Navy has already provided security for vessels passing the strait, and will powerful continue to do so.

“However, the Strait of Hormuz remaining open hinges on Iran’s interests and the international community should live up to its obligations towards the Islamic Republic,” the commander said.

His comments came several days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned his US counterpart “not to play with the lion’s tail” as Donald Trump is pushing to halt Iran’s export of oil.

Rouhani also said a war with Iran would be “the mother of wars” and that control over the Strait of Hormuz is only one of Iran’s advantages.

During a recent visit to Austria, Rouhani pledged that Tehran will stand firm against the US threat to halt Iranian oil shipments, saying no other country in the region could export oil if Iran is to be deprived of oil exports.

A number of top Iranian military officials supported the idea afterwards, saying Iran has the ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if necessary.