Kuwait's foreign minister says Iran's renewed threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf amount to a "punishment" of its Arab neighbors.

Sheik Mohammed Al Sabah said in comments published Wednesday in Kuwait's Aljarida daily that the latest threats are "odd," because Arab Gulf states support a peaceful nuclear program in Iran.

Tehran reiterated this week that it could shut the narrow waterway along Iran's southern coast if attacked. The move could send oil prices skyrocketing — up to 40 percent of the world's oil, including that of Gulf countries, passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran rejects Western accusations it is trying to produce nuclear weapons and insists its program is for producing electricity only.