About one-third of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz. 88% of Saudi Arabia’s oil, 92% of Iran’s oil, 96% of Iraq’s oil, 2% of the UAE’s oil and all of Kuwait’s and Qatar’s oil pass through the Strait with oil tankers.
Military forces can easily control the narrow waterway lying between Iran and Oman.
Tensions in the Gulf have increased following the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the implementation of sanctions against Iran in what the US calls its “maximum pressure campaign”.
Following the US’s announced plans to cut Iranian oil exports to zero, the regime’s President, Hassan Rouhani, implicitly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz last summer during a trip to Switzerland.
The commander of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, known for heading extraterritorial military and clandestine terrorist operations, thanked Rouhani for his remarks with regime analysts saying that his support showed that the “President’s remarks were not empty threats”.
In December 2018, Rouhani once again threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz.
“The United States should know that if it blocks Iran’s oil exports, there will be no oil export from the Persian Gulf,” he said on December 4, 2018.
But contrary to the delusive threats by Rouhani and Soleimani, Brian Hook, the US Department of State’s special representative for Iran recently said during a press conference that US sanctions caused Iranian crude exports to fall to about 100,000 b/d in July, down from roughly 2.5 million b/d a year earlier.
It would seem that the regime’s empty threats have only served
to isolate it even more.
The New York Times reported on August 7 that secret June cyberattack against Iran wiped out a critical database used by Iran’s paramilitary arm to plot attacks against oil tankers.
“Information storage has been lost in the attack,” a senior US official told the New York Times. “Through this information, the IRGC was able to determine the target ship and the location of the attack”.
Iran is still trying to recover information destroyed in the June 20 attack and restart some of the computer systems — including military communications networks — taken offline, the officials said.
The strike on the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence group diminished Iran’s ability to conduct covert attacks, said a senior official.
Also, a growing number of countries and forces have joined the United States and its efforts for an international coalition to safeguard freedom of navigation in Middle East waters, especially in the Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb.
The Iranian regime has lost its credibility in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz with its hollow threats.
Iran’s threats have led to a united military force in the Strait of Hormuz with the power to curb the regime’s oil exports, effectively turning the Strait into the regime’s quagmire.