By: Abdullah Al-Faife
Closing Strait of Hormuz represents hallucinations of a dying regime
The Iranian regime faces domestic disturbances and the internal unrest in the provinces and regions of Iran due to the uprising and the protests against the irrational practices of the mullahs regime including tyranny, repression of the Iranian people, brute force and marginalization of minorities in addition to the blatant interference in the affairs of the Arab region, igniting strife and exporting sectarian strife to dismantle the neighboring States. Iran also is witnessing a difficult economic situation because of its irrational policies and the siege imposed on it by the superpower countries. A report conducted by Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre in the United Arab Emirates showed that Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz before oil exports if Iran was prevented from exporting its oil. General Ismael Kuthari, a commander of the Revolutionary Guard vowed to attack oil exports in case of stopping Iran’s oil exports. These threats were praised and welcomed by Qasim Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Soleimani confirmed that Iran is capable of implementing its threats.
These Iranian threats are hollow and empty. They are aimed at extinguishing the flames of the interior disturbances against the regime and healing the rift of growing divisions through suggesting that Iran is on the verge of a military confrontation with its enemies a matter which requires joining together, preventing the division and ending demonstrations and popular protests.
The report added that Iran is not capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz because it knows well that this entails the risk of war in the region that previously threatened by the US whose military strategy includes the freedom of passage in international corridors especially that its naval fleets are present in the area and require continuous traffic. If Iran tries or thinks of closing the strait, it will destroy itself first. The report also highlighted two key points first: the ability of Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz second: the resulting implications. The results of understanding those two key points confirm that Iran is incapable of closing the Strait of Hormuz for many reasons. First: closing the strait simply means harming countries, some of which are allies of Iran notably, China and South Korea. Fourteen oil tankers carrying about 17 million barrels pass every day from this vital corridor. This huge amount is exported to the world markets and represents 20% of the global consumption. 85% of this amount goes to Asian countries, namely China, India, Japan and South Korea. All these countries will not allow any force to close this corridor, which is a lifeline for them. Second: the countries affected from this closure are the Asian and European ones not the US and Israel which Iran says it is in a confrontation with them. In addition, a rate estimated at 2.6 % of international exports of liquefied natural gas pass through the Strait of Hormuz, mostly gas exports from Qatar to Iran, Europe and Asia. Consequently, closing the Strait of Hormuz will not achieve Iran's retaliatory goals against the US and Israel, as it claims. Third: if Iran managed to close the strait, it will be a very short period of time because the US Navy will open it by force and Iran does not have capabilities to enter confrontations with the strongest super power in the world and Iran will inevitably be the loser. The Iranian leadership knows well that any confrontation with the US is likely to develop and reach the Iranian interior. This will be a great chance to the US to conduct military strikes against Iran’s nuclear reactors, topple its regime and destroy at least the entire Iranian capabilities. Fourth: these Iranian threats have been repeatedly issued by Iranian military and political leaders and even by parliamentarians for years. Some members in the Iranian parliament proposed a draft law on this issue. Furthermore, powerful international and the US sanctions were imposed on Iran to the extent they were about to topple the Iranian regime, but former US President Barak Obama saved this regime when he signed with them the nuclear deal.
Fifth: the US will deal relentlessly with the closure of this vital strait for the global economy. The US navy is present in this important area and fully controls the strait to smoothly ensure trade flow. Sixth: Iran knows well that the oil-exporting countries, led by Saudi Kingdom and the UAE, have realized the terrorist mentality dominating the Mullahs' leaders since early. These countries drew up new plans and established new corridors for exporting their oil. These corridors can be used in the time of need away from the Strait of Hormuz. KSA and UAE do not fear the closure of the strait by Iran, but they fear terrorist acts and piracy driven by the Iranian regime.
The report concluded saying that these threats carry with them programs and subversive schemes, maintained by Iran to be implemented in the time of need, even for the preservation of the face of the regime. The most important thing Iran can carry out is to impede the traffic of navigation in this vital passageway and harm the water of the Arabian Gulf in retaliation for the Gulf States that announced their intention to increase oil production to meet any deficit may be caused by the suspension of Iranian oil exports. So, there is no surprise that the Revolutionary Guards burn or direct oil tankers to collide with rocks in the Strait of Hormuz for the purpose of stopping the global navigation traffic in the strait and causing pollution in the waters of the Arabian Gulf in retaliation for the Gulf States.