Consider this question: if you were the policymaker of a country on the verge of an economic catastrophe and involved in a complex political imbroglio with the world’s foremost power, would you attempt to close down ‘the world’s most important oil chokepoint’ (which – according to international law – belongs to no one in particular)? For the sake of peace, personally I would avoid doing so.
I ask the question because Iran has threatened to shut off the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important shipping passage which links major oil-rich Gulf States to the rest of the world and through which almost one-fifth of the world’s oil passes. According to various analysts, if Iran blocks the Strait entirely, the global oil prices could increase by 50 percent or more in a matter of days. The Iranian decision of obstructing the strategically vital sea route may arise as a result of the latest US sanctions against Iran and mounting European pressure which might lead to the possibility of an oil embargo. Continue reading