The new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has unveiled a hawkish stance towards Iran.
The IAEA's new report claims to show "credible" information of activities relevant to an Iranian nuclear weapons programme, prompting fresh threats and warnings from Israel's Prime minister Netanyahu.
At the same, the leading US Republican candidates running for presidency are competing to outdo each other in promising aggressive action against the Islamic Republic.
The oil markets are watching the political rhetoric with a sense of unease; another US led war in the Middle East will have far-reaching consequences for global supplies.
But what does Iran have to say about all this? What will it do in the event of conflict, and in particular, how does it see oil supplies being affected?
With international leaders discussing the propsects of an attack on Iran, Talk to Al Jazeera's Teymoor Nabili sits down with Iran's Oil Minister, Rostam Qasemi, to discuss the current threat and its implications for the oil market.
Although the minister says Iran does not want to use its vast oil resources as a political tool in a crisis, he says Iran would use it, if necessary.
"Well, I would like to mention that our economy does rely on oil. However, we don't foresee any difficulties in exporting our oil. We don't consider crude oil as a political tool, however if necessary, we'll use it as a tool any way we need to.
We are not keen on using oil as a political tool and really we don't see any difficulties that would prompt us to use oil as a political tool.
We are not interested in using crude oil as a tool. And right now, we believe everything's ok and that there is no need to use crude oil as a tool. However, I have to reiterate that in case we are urged to and in case we think it's necessary: yes, we will use this."
Rostam Qasemi, Iran's oil minister
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