Iran does not consider oil as a political tool but has the power to choose this option in the event of any Israeli or US aggression against the Islamic Republic, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said."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," Qassemi said in response to a question in an interview translated into English by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television. "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," he said in the interview posted on the television's website. Israel and the US have recently intensified their war rhetoric against Iran, saying that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is in the offing. Iran has warned it will respond to any attack by hitting Israel and US interests in the Persian Gulf and analysts say Tehran could hit Western interests by closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes. The Strait of Hormuz is the most important oil transit channel in the world, with some 15.5 million barrels or about 40% of all sea-borne shipped oil passing through in 2009, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). US warships patrol the area since they were deployed in the Southern parts of the Persian Gulf and Iran has warned that if it comes under attack it would sink an oil tanker in the Strait in a bid to block the free move of the US Navy ships very easily and in a twinkling of an eye. Most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Iraq - together with nearly all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) from lead exporter Qatar - must slip through a four-mile (6.4 kilometer) wide shipping channel between Oman and Iran.