Iran can’t close Strait of Hormuz

Sanctions unlikely to stop Iran oil exports completely: Saudi adviser

August 28, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

— Saudi Energy Ministry adviser Ibrahim Al-Muhanna said on Tuesday that Iran is unable to completely or partially close the Strait of Hormuz or Bab Al-Mandeb.

He said if Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz, the UN Security Council is likely to authorize military action, according to statements reported by Reuters news agency.

Speaking at an oil conference in the Norwegian city of Stavanger, Al-Muhanna said Iran would be the first to lose out on a move to block those major shipping routes and that any such action would trigger further sanctions on Iran.

He also said that current US sanctions on Iran are unlikely to stop Iranian oil exports completely. “Current sanctions are unlikely to stop Iranian oil exports completely, as almost all experts agree. I mean, they will continue to export 1 million (barrels per day) or so. So closing that Strait of Hormuz will damage the Iranians as much as damaging others,” he said.

“The amount of oil going through the Strait of Hormuz is so large. There’s more than 18 million barrels a day, about two thirds of world maritime oil trade. Meaning, cutting oil from there will lead to an acute oil shortage and prices will skyrocket,” Al-Muhanna said.

“Is Iran able or willing to close completely, or even partially, the Strait of Hormuz or Bab Al-Mandab, or both? The answer is no, and a really big no.”

On Monday, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, claimed that Iran had full control of both the Arabian Gulf itself and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it, Reuters reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded Monday night: “Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways.”

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