Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Iran expands threat to close Strait of Hormuz

As a follow-up to a Washington Times warning on November 15, the New York Times is now reporting, in a story by Rick Gladstone today, that Iran has threatened to blockade the Strait of Hormuz if the US or the West tries to impose any sanctions at all to undermine its nuclear energy (and probably nuclear weapons) program.  The link is here

In other words, Iran has expanded its threat to beyond the consequences of an attack from Israel (or for that matter Sunni forces).  It says that not a single drop of oil would get through.
All of this creates a serious policy issue for the Obama administration, as to how to position itself militarily. It might have to keep the Strait open by force.  Otherwise there could be severe and sudden supply and oil price problems early in 2012.  But there is no Soviet Union (not even in the movies) stopping it now.

CNN has some detailed analysis Dec. 28 here, by Tim Lister, who calls this sabre-rattling and maintains a prolonged blockade is not possible. However, in 1980 there was fear that it could be possible.

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