Source: U.S. sent letter to Iran over Strait of Hormuz threat

Washington sent a rare letter to the Iranian government, delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

The U.S. has used multiple means of reaching out to Iran in response to Iran's threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, a critical transit point for one-fifth of the world's oil.

Among those messages, Washington sent a rare letter to the Iranian government, delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's permanent representative at the U.N., according to a U.S. official who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. The official would provide no further details

Iranian media reported that Iran is studying the letter and "will respond if necessary," quoting Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

In addition, as reported previously, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta publicaly warned Tehran against such a blockage move last Thursday, threatening to "respond" if Iran attempts to shut down traffic. The United States also sent diplomatic messages through Switzerland -- its protecting power in the country -- and Iraqi President Jalal Talibani.

Tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz

    Just Watched

    Tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz

Tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz 02:17
PLAY VIDEO

The messages came as tensions in the region continued to escalate. On Friday, the Navy and Coast Guard released video of two incidents on January 6, when Iranian boats came extremely close to U.S. vessels.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.