American Samizdat

Monday, January 08, 2007. *
The Strait of Hormuz: It's Not That Bad, It's Worse
The Iranian strategic military plan for engaging the United States must include crippling oil exports from the Persian Gulf. Iran is (probably) in a position to close the Strait of Hormuz, the most strategically important waterway in the world.

While the U.S. Navy has already pledged to keep the strait open, there is no way to know if that will be possible if Iran does indeed decide to go with a scorched earth policy:
The United States would ensure the free flow of oil and trade through the Strait of Hormuz if passage was threatened, its top navy commander in the Gulf told Reuters on Monday.

Iran has a commanding position on the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic channel at the mouth of the Gulf that is a conduit for close to two-fifths of globally traded oil.

"What you are looking for here is confidence and relying on us to provide clearance of the straits, to ensure the strait remains free," Vice Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, in charge of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said in an interview.

"I can offer you our unequivocal commitment that that is our goal, that that's our job," he said, speaking by telephone from Manama, Bahrain.

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned last month that oil exports in the Gulf could be jeopardized if Washington made a "wrong move" against Tehran were the dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions to escalate.

This is the good news.

The bad news is that Iran wouldn't have to sink a bunch of vessels in the Strait of Hormuz to bring the whole damn bigtop crashing down.

If the Strait of Hormuz is the most strategically important waterway in the world, what's the most strategically important facility in the world?

Ras Tanura:

As much as 80% of the near 9 million barrels of oil a day pumped out by Saudi is believed to end up being piped from fields such as Ghawar to Ras Tanura in the Gulf to be loaded on to supertankers bound for the west.

If Iran manages to damage the deep water oil loading facility at Ras Tanura...

Well, I hope your bicycle is in good working order.

Oh, btw:
Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:52 AM
Post a Comment

Site Meter

Creative Commons License