Regular readers of Common Sense Conspiracy know that we have been advising for months now that an international crisis involving Iran is brewing. A lot of people thought the finalizing of the troop withdrawal from Iraq was some sign that the United States was finally lowering its visibility in the region, but tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to approach the boiling point. First was an accident where Iranians successfully confiscated a United States unmanned drone plane no doubt on a reconnaissance mission in Iranian airspace. Now, the navy chief of Iran issued a stern warning that if the United States and other nations continue to consider further sanctions against Iran, they will close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical route for transportation of oil.
According to Iran, the country can close the Strait of Hormuz, located right at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, easily. This is the route that one-sixth of the world’s oil passes through during exportation. This was the second time Iran threatened this course of action. Basically, the Iranians are saying that if more sanctions are levied against their country over their suspected nuclear arms program, they will simply clamp down on the supply of oil. Of course, the United States relies heavily on oil that passes through this strait, and the economic effects would be felt in America almost instantly, not just in the form of gas prices, but also in the fragile stock market.
Initially, Iran’s threat didn’t have many teeth, as Saudi Arabia, cautious American “ally” in the Middle East, immediately pledged its support by saying that if Iran does close the strait, they will make up for the lost oil. This insurance policy seemed to appease the stock market thus far. However, today, the United States expressed its displeasure with the Iranian threat by warning them that any disruption of the oil route in the Strait of Hormuz “will not be tolerated.”
The real issue here is that Iran is threatening to close the strait, but these are international waters, and they really don’t have the right to take such an action because Iranian oil is not the only oil that passes through the region. The U.S. Navy says that it is ready to act if the international freedom of navigation in the Strait is violated. To further drive home their point, the Iranian navy is currently conducting a 10-day war drill near the Strait where their exercises are taking them very close to U.S. warships. There is little doubt that the timing of the war games is to demonstrate to the U.S. and the world that Iran has the prowess to do just what it says it will. The United States and Iran have long been a bomb waiting to explode, and these kind of tensions could be the very thing to speed up a war that is almost certainly to come. Also, Israel waits in the wings, salivating over the opportunity to violently eliminate Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program. The entire affair is a haunting reminder that while so many of our troops were able to make it home and enjoy a great holiday with their families, there is no guarantee that their homecoming is a permanent one.