Monday, January 08, 2007


That’s the word according to this Jerusalem Post article. Here’s what the article says:

A senior Iranian officer warned that if the West continues to threaten Iran’s economy over its nuclear program, Tehran will discontinue the flow of oil via the Strait of Hormuz, Israel Radio reported Monday.

According to the officer, 40% of the world’s oil is transferred through the strait, and the world is dependent on Iran for a source of energy and a stable economy.

Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, added that Iran cannot allow itself to give up the right to develop its nuclear technology program.

The first thing I though of was this Ralph Peters op-ed. Here’s what Col. Peters wrote:

WORD that Adm. William Fallon will move laterally from our Pacific Command to take charge of Central Command, responsible for the Middle East, while two ground wars rage in the region baffled the media. Why put a swabbie in charge of grunt operations?

There’s a one-word answer: Iran.

ASSIGNING a Navy aviator and combat veteran to oversee our military operations in the Persian Gulf makes perfect sense when seen as a preparatory step for striking Iran’s nuclear-weapons facilities, if that becomes necessary.

While the Air Force would deliver the heaviest tonnage of ordnance in a campaign to frustrate Tehran’s quest for nukes, the toughest strategic missions would fall to our Navy. Iran would seek to retaliate asymmetrically by attacking oil platforms and tankers, closing the Strait of Hormuz, and trying to hit oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

Only the U.S. Navy, hopefully, with Royal Navy and Aussie vessels underway beside us, could keep the oil flowing to a thirsty world.

In short, the toughest side of an offensive operation against Iran would be the defensive aspects, requiring virtually every air and sea capability we could muster. (Incidentally, an additional U.S. carrier battle group is now headed for the Gulf; Britain and Australia are also strengthening their naval forces in the region.)

Democrats are loudly criticizing President Bush for everything he’s done in the Middle East, whether it’s the Taliban regrouping in Afghanistan or too much sectarian violence in Baghdad or “not winning the peace.” This move shows that he’s a step ahead with Iran. There’s no convincing me that he didn’t anticipate Iran threatening this when he started down the path of sanctions with Iran’s mullahs.

I’d further submit that this proves that he’s got a plan for keeping the oil flowing through the Straits. This shouldn’t be taken lightly because the unnamed senior Iranian officer is right: 40% of the world’s oil is transferred through the strait. I would say that there’s enough cushion in the world’s production capacity to offset Iran’s withholding its oil from the market, at least temporarily.

No comments: