The Strait of Hormuz is on the hotseat again and Iran continues to make itself the bad guy.
Iran has repeated its threat to block this oil gateway to the world, through which one-third of all oil cargo passes. The threat comes at a crucial time, when a US fleet of warships led by the USS John C. Stennis is expected to reach the waterway shortly.
If Iran wants to see its navy decimated then just get in their way.
The timing could not have been more opportunistic, considering Iran’s resolute defiance of the US sanctions but they cannot oppose the financial sanctions because of America’s financial might. This is why Iran’s economy is in the doldrums.
Blockade against Sanctions
The Iranian strategy is comical. It is threatening to gag the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz and strangle all oil supply from the Persian Gulf. They did this before and were stomped on for it. In addition, America is becoming an energy powerhouse so this threat is not as serious as it once used to be.
The world should just obtain its energy from Canada and America anyhow and soon Israel will be a natural gas exporter.
Iran’s state media widely broadcast President Hassan Rouhani’s message to the world, conveying that if the US blocks Iran’s oil, then it will respond with blocking the world’s oil gateway, the Strait of Hormuz.
The implications are clear. If Iran is not allowed to export its oil, it won’t allow any oil exports from the entire Persian Gulf. Again, Iran continues to go down the wrong road. If Iran just became a moral country that was not brainwashed and delusional they would not have any issues. Theocracies don’t work.
Following this threat with inflated confidence, the President said that looking to the consequences of such a blockade, the US will never be able to carry out its intent to completely cripple Iran’s economy by blocking all its crude exports.
The US Response
In a tit-for-tat reply, the White House repeated its pledge to “take down to zero” Iran’s oil exports. The US is putting all possible pressure on its allies and friends to stop exporting oil from Iran, in order to actualize its threat. It envisages Iran to go bankrupt under the twin impacts of economic sanctions and oil export embargo.
As if in an arm-twisting tactic, US warships are rapidly approaching the Strait of Hormuz to dare Iran to stop it. It is a blatant show of might against Iran.
It is also not lost on the international observers that the US warships are headed for the Strait of Hormuz soon after Iran test-fired a nuclear ballistic missile.
The larger picture is thus turning more volatile in the Persian Gulf than what most political and military analysts expected.
Israel Cozies up to the US
It is coincidental, or perhaps not, that just a day before the Iranian President issued the bold threat to the US, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu met the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and discussed strategies to cut Iran down to size.
The talks resulted in immediate action. Within hours, Israel kick-started Operation Northern Shield on the Lebanese border. This was purportedly to “expose and thwart” underground tunnels that penetrate into Israeli’s territory.
Meanwhile, Iran’s threat is valiantly upheld by some citizens (many Iranians don’t like their country’s policies); particularly, by its hard-liners. One psychotic cleric went to the extent of declaring that Iran was in a position to escalate international crude price to $400 a barrel if it decides to “act in the Persian Gulf.” These are the same people who subjugate woman, don’t believe in freedom, and worship a false religion.
Will Iran make the same mistake Saddam Hussein made?