“Sanctions imposed on Iran by our enemies will not have any impact on our nation,” said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a televised address on Monday. “The Iranian nation believes in its rulers,” Khamenei added [IRIB, 9 January].
Notwithstanding Ayatollah Khamanei’s remarks, Iran’s military and civilian officials in recent days have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if the new sanctions against the country’s central bank result in disruption of its oil exports.
The threat to block the Strait and the blunt responses by the US and Britain pushed the benchmark Brent Crude price to $113 a barrel on Monday, up by about $6 in the nine days since President Obama signed the new sanctions into law.
Meanwhile, Iran announced today that its new uranium enrichment facility at Fordo will open in the coming days. Western diplomats have been quoted by the media that the enrichment work at Fordo has already begun. The facility is designed to enrich uranium to at least 20 percent purity and is buried in underground bunkers to survive aerial attacks.