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Iran’s rhetoric on Hormuz: „More likely to threaten than to act“

In the wake of the implementation of new US and EU sanctions on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Islamic Republic has resumed its threats to close the vital Strait of Hormuz. [1] Although analysts acknowledge that Iran has some capacity to disrupt traffic in the strategic oil shipping channel, they asses that blocking the passage is unlikely or even impossible due to the significant US military presence in the region and because any closure would hurt Iran more than the West. [2]

„Iran won’t allow a single drop of oil to pass through Hormuz“

Approximately 40% of the world’s seaborne oil exports are shipped through the narrow Strait of Hormuz between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. [3]

In July 2012, a naval commander in Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) declared that Tehran would increase its military presence in international waters. “The IRGC’s naval forces have had the ability since the (Iran-Iraq) war to completely control the Strait of Hormuz and not allow even a single drop of oil to pass through,” he added. [4]

Iran has repeatedly threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Western sanctions targeting its oil exports. [5] The previous round of threats was followed by a series of naval manoeuvres early this year. [6]

British and American experts concluded that “Iran does not have the military capacity to close the straits for long,” [7] and instead might “disrupt, threaten, harass, and otherwise create substantial instability for shipping in the Gulf.” [8]

The Congressional Research Service in its briefing on Iran’s threats in January 2012 detailed how “Iran has invested in the military capability to close or disrupt traffic through the Strait,” notably through mines, small boats, submarines and coastal cruise missiles.[9] Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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