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Iran’s Saber Rattling on Persian Gulf Likely to Rattle World Oil Markets

The commander of the navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, warned on Monday that Iran maintained control of the Persian Gulf and that the U.S. Navy did not belong there.

Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the gulf, as well as of the Strait of Hormuz, which leads into it.

“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf, and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said.

Although it is not clear what he meant by “control,” Iran’s Islamist dictatorship long has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is attacked or unable to export its own oil through the strait.

The Trump administration seeks to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero through sanctions that are slated to take effect in November, but it is unlikely to reach that goal owing to continued imports of Iranian oil by China and other countries that reject the U.S. sanctions.

The Tangsiri statement probably is meant to signal Tehran’s confidence in its military strength; to underscore Iran’s opposition to sanctions, which the U.S. has pledged to escalate; to deter the U.S. from taking tougher action against Iran; and to enhance Iran’s oil export revenues by boosting oil prices on nervous international oil markets.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most important maritime chokepoints. Approximately 18.5 million barrels of oil a day—more than 30 percent of the seaborne oil traded worldwide—flowed through the strait in 2016.

The strait is the jugular vein through which most Persian Gulf oil exports flow to Asia and Europe. Although the United States has greatly reduced its dependence on gulf oil exports, it still would sustain economic damage in the event of a spike in world oil prices, and many of its European and Asian allies import a substantial portion of their oil needs from the region.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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