A member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practice its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation.
The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: “Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”
Contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for the Iranian military declined to comment.
Iran’s energy minister told Al Jazeera television last month that Tehran could use oil as a political tool in the event of any future conflict over its nuclear program.
Tension over the program has increased since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on November 8 that Tehran appears to have worked on designing a nuclear bomb and may still be pursuing research to that end. Iran strongly denies this and says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Iran has warned it will respond to any attack by hitting Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf and analysts say one way to retaliate would be to close the Strait of Hormuz.
About a third of all sea-borne shipped oil passed through the Strait in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and U.S. warships patrol the area to ensure safe passage.
Is there a link to the tepid response by the U.S. to the captured drone in Iran?
Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday criticized Obama’s decisions on the drone, but for an entirely different reason. He said that, after the aircraft went down, the president should have ordered an airstrike over Iran.
“The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it,” the Republican, who served with President George W. Bush, told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “You can do that from the air … and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone.”
Instead, “he asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren’t going to,” Cheney said.
Not only are they not going to, they’re going to test us further and closing the Strait of Hormuz is a way to do it.
2012 won’t get here soon enough, meaning Obama may have to face down the Iranians himself rather than pass this problem on to the next guy.
Lord help us.