( Reuters ) - Iran will not rule out using oil as a weapon if the United States resorts to military action against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, an Iranian oil official said in remarks published on Tuesday.
"When the Americans say that military action in regard to the nuclear issue has not been put aside, Iran can also say that it will not put aside oil as a tool," Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, told Iran's Sharq newspaper.
Washington says it wants a diplomatic end to a row over Iran's nuclear ambitions but has not ruled out force if that route fails.
Iranian officials have also said they do not want to use oil as a weapon but have said they might do so if pushed.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking to build atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.
"We will not start using this tool (of oil) but if others use their tools that they have not put aside to put pressure on negotiations, it is natural that the two sides would discuss all their tools," Kazempour Ardebili said.