Iran’s repeated threats to close the Strait of Hormuz are a pivotal part of a military strategy based on psychological and asymmetric warfare. Blocking the strategic waterway, through which 90 percent of Persian Gulf oil flows to the outside world, would have sweeping implications for regional security and global oil markets. It may be the Islamic Republic’s most potent weapon. Tehran has also hinted it would retaliate against U.S. forces, notably the Fifth Fleet based in the Persian Gulf, if it is attacked.
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has developed sufficient military capabilities to back up its threats. The Revolutionary Guards Navy may be able to inflict damage on U.S. forces. It operates hundreds of small and relatively fast attack boats, some armed with sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles. Its fleet could attempt to swarm larger U.S. ships and try to penetrate their defenses, even if they could not destroy the more powerful American vessels. Iran could also fire missiles at U.S. warships from its 1000 mile-long Gulf coastline. An even more controversial Iranian move would be scattering mines either near the Strait or in the Persian Gulf, which could slow or stop shipping as the U.S. Navy tried to clear the waterways.
Will Iran Close the Strait of Hormuz? | RAND.
by Lyle Bacaltos http://www.isis-online.org/
An official Iranian statement released on August 9, 2005 at a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claimed that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons. Recent news reports have raised the question whether the fatwa has changed. Based on research on news stories and commentary by Iranian officials from the past few months, there is no publicly available evidence that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has changed the nuclear fatwa.
The fact that he fatwa is being used in negotiations as a justification for Iran’s continued enrichment suggests that it remains in place for now. Only time will tell if the religious declaration is binding in any meaningful way or a truthful statement about the Supreme Leader’s intentions.
See the full report here: Potential Change in Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa?
- Although details of the Iranian nuclear negotiations are scarce, Tehran seems to be taking the tightening of sanctions – especially a possible boycott of Iranian oil — seriously.
- To reduce world suspicions of its intent, Iran needs to make concessions on its uranium enrichment practices and quietly provide real but unpublicized assurances that any weapons research program is history.
- To provide Iran political cover, world powers should consider accepting Tehran’s claims that its nuclear program is peaceful, integrating the program into the global nuclear economy, and undercutting Tehran’s attempts to retain nuclear autonomy.
Después de un paréntesis de 15 meses, Irán y los miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, más Alemania, denominado P5 +1, se reunieron en Estambul para discutir el programa nuclear de Irán. Las relaciones entre Irán y las grandes potencias se han vuelto tan amargas que, cuando terminaron las reuniones, todos los lados vieron el acuerdo para reunirse nuevamente el próximo mes en Bagdad como un triunfo diplomático importante.