Hossein Salami, a deputy commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz to the United States and its allies if they threaten Iran. Salami said,
“If the Americans and their regional allies want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us, we will not allow any entry. Americans cannot make safe any part of the world.”
Of course, there was no specificity as to exactly what is deemed as a threat according to Iran’s definition of the word. Some analysts who’ve weighed in on this latest Iranian verbal threat state this is a variance of voicing displeasure by Iranian authorities and that there is technically no desire to escalate this threat into a real military situation.
The Strait of Hormuz is a main thoroughfare for oil tankers, which equates to 35 percent of the world’s seaborne oil shipment and 20 percent of oil traded worldwide. Iran is heavily dependent on its oil revenues as well as the other oil-producing Gulf states in the region.
For Iran to act on this threat would mean a repeat performance of the U.S. and her allies sending ships into the Strait as they did 10 years ago and that was based on a threat only, not an actual closure. Iran cannot afford to roll the dice with its economy, especially when it is trying to woo investors and business after sanctions were lifted after the nuclear deal was signed in July 2015.
Iran has consistently tested U.S. patience since the nuclear deal was signed with capturing 10 U.S. Navy sailors and exploiting them through media channels, unarmed Iranian drone buzzed over the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, and the IRGC incessant sabre-rattling anti-U.S. vitriol that come directly from their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Khamenei said,
“This is how bullying powers must be countered. Go back to the Bay of Pigs. Go and hold exercises there (referring to the failed attempt to invade Cuba by U.S.-backed rebels).”
For a country that’s just coming out from under sanctions, they sure seem to think they have carte blanche with their idle threats to the U.S. and her allies, but it won’t be the U.S. Iran needs to worry about, it’ll be Israel first and foremost. The false bravado and “tough-guy” act by the Ayatollah and his army of lapdogs fools no one and whist the hardliner regime may think they have the U.S. where they want them, their apathetic ‘friend’ in the White House leaves office January 20, 2017. That means the days of Iranian leadership barking demands and issuing vacuous threats to the U.S. are numbered to the tune of 259 days as of this posting.
Will President Obama leaving office have any effect on Iran’s hostile behavior towards the U.S. or will a new U.S. President lay down the gauntlet and put a halt to it first? Sound off in the comments below