US Vows To Keep Gulf Waterway Open After Iran Threatens Blockade

As Americans are busy with July 4th celebrations, the temperature is heating up in the Persian Gulf a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested Iran could stop all regional gulf oil exports in retaliation for the US seeking to collapse the nuclear deal, and in response to aggressive new US sanctions. 

Image source: Vestnik Kavkaza

"The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran's oil exports. They don't understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region's oil is exported," the state-run website, president.ir, quoted Rouhani as saying. “The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero... It shows they have not thought about its consequences,” Rouhani said. 

After the provocative Iranian statements, widely understood as a threat to impose military blockade on the world's most crucial oil choke point, spokesman for the US military's Central Command, Captain Bill Urban, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that US sailors and its regional allies "stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows".

Washington has issued an ultimatum to countries dealing with Iran: halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face punitive US economic measures with no exemptions. Rouhani called these threats "crime and aggression" and an act of "self-harm" as the unwavering stance is “against U.S. national interests and the interests of other countries.” He said this while in Vienna attempting to rally European governments to stand against Trump's policies targeting Tehran. 

Previous threats by Iranian officials to possibly take the drastic action of blocking the the Strait of Hormuz — though once easily shrugged off as empty talk — are now coming to a head as the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has thrown its full weight behind Rouhani's words, to which the Pentagon responded, issuing its firm response promising to keep the waterway open through military action if need be.

Though Rouhani's initial words could be somewhat open to interpretation, IRGC commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani followed up on Wednesday in a published letter addressed to the Iranian president: "Your comments, carried by the media, that if the Islamic Republic’s oil isn’t exported there would be no guarantees for the whole region’s oil to be exported, is a very valuable comment,” Soleimani wrote, “I kiss your (Rouhani’s) hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic,” he said. 

As Quds force leader (the special forces IRGC unit engaged in of foreign operations), Soleimani is precisely the one who would oversee such an operation as blocking Gulf exports. The Straight of Hormuz at its narrowest is about 31 miles wide and approximately 20% of the world's seaborne oil passes through it, annd the IRGC has in the past threatened the passageway by conducting war games, such as during a period of heightened tensions with the West over the straight in 2011 and 2012. 

via AFP

To put things in perspective considering potential disruption, the last major crisis of global economic consequence took place nearly three decades ago

The largest oil market disruption ever occurred in August 1990, when Iraq's invasion of Kuwait took 4.3 million barrels per day of oil off the market—about 6.5 percent of world supply. That stoppage caused world oil prices to double (from about $20 to $40 per barrel). But a blockade of Hormuz would cut off nearly four times as much oil as the Kuwait crisis did, disrupting a share of the oil market three times greater.

Meanwhile, Iran OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, weighed in with dire warnings in statements carried by Iran's oil ministry news agency SHANA.

“Trump’s demand that Iranian oil should not be bought, and (his) pressures on European firms at a time when Nigeria and Libya are in crisis, when Venezuela’s oil exports have fallen due to U.S. sanctions, when Saudi’s domestic consumption has increased in summer, is nothing but self harm,” Ardebili said. 

“It will increase the prices of oil in the global markets,” he said, and echoing Rouhani's theme of US "self-harm" he added, “At the end it is the American consumer who will pay the price for Mr. Trump’s policy.”

So far the EU is standing by Iran as a major longtime oil importer, but some European officials have acknowledged US sanctions will create an unpredictable environment, potentially making guarantees to Tehran impossible to fulfill. 

Iran has reportedly taken measures to gear up for survival amidst the coming economic war, according to Bloomberg, offering to barter oil for goods. “We have informed our oil customers that we will only buy their commodities if they buy our crude,” stated the spokesman for Parliament’s energy commission.

This reportedly the result of OPEC’s third-largest producer being unable to bring dollars or euros in exchange for crude because of “banking problems,” which, according to the spokesman, means Iran is open to alternative means of payment, including medical equipment and agricultural products.

Concerning this week's heightened rhetoric over the Straight of Hormuz, should the IRGC attempt to block it, such a drastic retaliatory measure would most certainly spark war in the Persian Gulf. 

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Comments

Free This Wed, 07/04/2018 - 21:51 Permalink

What? With rowboats? LOL

Yeah, we are such war mongers aren't we, that's right people, we start all the shit, everywhere, all the time. I feel like I am on crazy pills.

I say we bring all our troops home. If someone attacks us, then we take the gloves off. We don't need to be the world's policeman, I get it. But closing the waterway, will hurt not just the US, think about that before y'all trounce me.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

 

EDIT - ya, I felt those down arrows while I was typing, meh, no worries really, you have your opinion, and I have mine. No skin off my back. Continue, let's see if I can break a record? LOL, it's all good people, we all can't agree on everything.

EDIT 2 - he's making a comeback! But I won't count my chickens just yet.

EDIT 3 - and he's fading down the stretch his horse is still looking strong, will he make it to the finish line lol

EDIT 4 - and his horse is in the glue factory, he's not gonna make, ah well, maybe next time

 

Happy 4th everyone, it's been a great ride. I leave you with my words of iron, you can chew on them for a while.

philipat BlackChicken Thu, 07/05/2018 - 01:24 Permalink

First, since when did the US ever give a shit about International law? Second, it therefore probably isn't surprising that the article presents a very misleading interpretation of "Free passage" under International law. It actually comes down to "Innocent passage" and the right of coastal States to intercept shipping. This recent article from ICH provides a concise definition of the UNCLOS ("The laws of the sea") and legal right of coastal States ti iterfere with shipping when it is no longer regarded as "innocent":

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49771.htm

In reply to by BlackChicken

Free This philipat Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:12 Permalink

LOST huh, I have heard of it. What tyrant wrote that garbage anyway, oh, the fucking UN, LOL, fuck them. If that is what it says about intercepting by coastal pirates is true - then it truly is a piece of shit law anyway.

Let me glance over it - yep, it's the Communist Manifesto Of The Sea, just as I thought. CMOTS, that's what I'll call it from now on.

Three miles is all you get twinkle toes, I don't recognize UN law anyway, it's a bully pulpit for Tyrants.

The US out of the UN and UN out of the US, is what I say. I can't understand why the US funds that stupid body of bobble heads anyway.

So philly boy, you sound all high and mighty with your lawyer type talk, so here is something for you - sitck LOST up your chuffer. How's that for a morning wake up call fella, must be a real enema for you?

Sic Semper Tryannis

In reply to by philipat

SoDamnMad BlackChicken Thu, 07/05/2018 - 01:51 Permalink

Iran doesn't have to take on the US Navy.  Iran sinks (only even has to hit it once) one VLCC leaving a Saudi port and the maritime insurance companies will raise the rates so high that no one would dare sailing into the gulf. 

The Gulf being as shallow as it is is not a great place to fight.  Go back and reread Millennium Challenge 2002 and think about swarm robots, anti-ship missiles, GPS counter-measures, S-400s. Hell, we even damage Navy ships in peace time from cargo ships.

In reply to by BlackChicken

Free This SoDamnMad Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:15 Permalink

Oh another Commie in our midst, you sound like you have Putin right up your ass. I bet you shit KGB agents in the morning.

I just swirled a few down the drain, and it felt good. You love Russia so much, why don't you just move there son! So, if as you say Iran doesn't have to take on the US navy, then what is this shit about Iran sinking our ships out of port? You are a conflicted amoeba, you know that son.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

In reply to by SoDamnMad

zebra77a SoDamnMad Thu, 07/05/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

You nailed it.

Iran doesn't have to block anything, the insurance companies and lawyers will block it by making it so expensive to transit the strait nobody will do it.

Didn't Trump tweet a day ago about the price of oil getting too high?

What nobody is considering is that Israel needs the price of crude nice and high to make their Leviathan oil and gas pipeline project running through Greece to Europe viable. The race is on to hammer a path to the European consumer. Lots of fresh faces are going to need heat who just migrated to Europe..

One burning VLCC dumping 500,000 barrels of burning crude into the strait and it's on like donkey kong..

In reply to by SoDamnMad

To Hell In A H… BlackChicken Thu, 07/05/2018 - 02:23 Permalink

Who said they are international? Which international maritime body declared that? Do imbeciles like you know the difference between national waters, international waters and economic area? The rulings are completely arbitrary at times, depending which countries are contesting the boundaries.

Dunces like you litter ZH, bringing a wealth of unparalleled ignorance. Just look up Australia and research what they did to East Timor, robbing their oil and gas? The Australians broke every facet of established international maritime boundary law available. Going so far as to leave several maritime bodies, because every single one voted against them. 

But did it matter? While the Australians pumped out the oil and gas for almost 2 decades, they dragged the case through every international arbitration court. Even Australian State television cannot spin this story, to make them look better.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-09/east-timor-tears-up-oil-and-gas-t…  It was classic Australian white man, robbing the dark skin islanders of their wealth and living on FREE SHIT!

Lesson of the day? We make and change the rules as we go along. Back to the Australia East Timor daylight robbery plunder? Did the UK freeze the bank accounts of the Australian and western companies drilling the oil and gas, which was the standard thing to do in this situation? lol Yeah right. Sanction our Australian cousins. There was never going to be basic justice for East Timor. The West make up the rules as we see fit. 

In reply to by BlackChicken

Element To Hell In A H… Thu, 07/05/2018 - 06:48 Permalink

The only reason East Timor exists today is because the Australian public, while watching Indonesian special forces burn down the entire country and murdering them en-masse, demanded the immediate deployment of the ADF to force an end to the barbarism at the risk of a terrible war with a country that has 15 times the population of Australia.

 

In other words, you don't seem to have the faintest semblance of a clue on the topic which you yap erroneously about with such epic ignorance and one-eyed gross stupidity.

 

And that's without even going into why the Timorese themselves robbed and stymied themselves, and made absurd and technically non-viable proposals to extract gas and oil, while expecting everyone else to pay for their dumb uneconomic and impossible to acheive development proposals.

 

Australia didn't steal a damn thing off those incompetant, corrupt, delusional neo-communist ingrates, who've been 'running' East Timor---but they sure did make a mess of things. And we bailed then out multiple times, and again deployed troops, multiple times, to prevent their own revolting 'military' from killing their Govt off and burning everything down once again.

 

You have not got a clue what went on with those Timorese ingrates.

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

To Hell In A H… Element Thu, 07/05/2018 - 15:09 Permalink

lol. Forget the IQ of the East Timorese, forget the Indonesians taking the piss and massacring them. Just look at West Guinea for a modern example of Indonesian handy work. On this subject matter I am well versed on the facts and have been for over two decades. Despite the serious short-comings of the East Timorese....

WHAT THE FUCK HAS THE INCOMPETENCE OF THE EAST TIMOUR GOVERNMENT, THE FACT THE AUSTRALIANS BAILED THEM OUT MILITARILY, GOT TO DO WITH NATIONAL WATERS, INTERNATIONAL WATERS, ECONOMIC AREA BOUNDARIES AND SETTLED MARITIME LAW REGARDING DISPUTES?

Your argument/defence/justification basically boils down to:

  • The Australians saved them from the barbaric Indonesians on numerous occasions from suffering a massacre.
  • The East Timor government is incompetent and corrupt. (like 80% of the world government. Just look at the USSA)
  • The East Timorese put out development proposals the Australians and her allies did not like.
  • The East Timorese government are communists.
  • The East Timor military have been put down by the Australian government, as they were going to overthrow the corrupt government on more than one occasion, saving the peons from heartache etc.

What does any of the fucking above got to do with Australia robbing their oil and gas? It's not even like the boundaries are 51/49 in distance to East Timor, its like 68/32 and so far within recognised economic area territory, the Aussies left 3 international maritime bodies because they never had a legal leg to stand on and all ruled against them.

The Aussies won not one fucking case in any court(except their own), but because the Aussies saved East Timorese lives, stealing their oil and gas to you, appears to be some sort of fair quid pro quo. lmao.

 

In reply to by Element

Free This To Hell In A H… Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:19 Permalink

Awww, look another butt hurt international lawyer type huh? Do me a favor and write some more garbage for me to read, you are entertaining. I had a good laugh reading your bullshit son. It's always about the white man fucking over the brown man with you types. Without the white man and the yellow man, this world would be still rubbing sticks together.

Go find another anit-white cause to shake at us.

Sic Semper Tryannis

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

scrone To Hell In A H… Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

Just a bunch of pseudo-intellectual wanking from a fucking pom. Why don't you try to find out what actually happened before jerking your chain over some international case law. And while you do that, please self flagellate over the numerous atrocities perpetrated by the UK over the last few hundred years given you seem so intent on correcting injustice.

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

TheGardener To Hell In A H… Thu, 07/05/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

You got this all wrong, Australia helped to "liberate" East Timor and generously agreed to share the loot... and they only stole it back from Indonesia, should have annexed Western Papua under Indonesian occupation as well and reunite it with the Bismarck archipelago other half of the island they once stole from the Germans but gave it independence

because while having kangaroos too it was peopled by cannibalistic savages no one

would want to have for subjects to rule over.

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

Free This Jerzeel Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:24 Permalink

If the US catches a cold, the rest of the wold dies of pneumonia son, get over yourself.

Yeah, we are in deep shit, and I blame the communist left, with their good intentions and their road paved to hell, for our problems. Plenty of Rino's that I have disdain for too...so I say fuck them all equally.

Tell you what, why doesn't the rest of the world just sell those Treasuries? Tell me smart guy, the won't because they would no where else to park their chicken shit "fiat" they have, LOL. If they could have, they would have, and they haven't.

Yeah, we are the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry, I get it. The whole fucking world has gone mad, that is the truth of it, the US is not special in that category. I blame globalists/world communists for that, and we should rise up and get rid of that scourge, everywhere.

Simple minds like yours, just don't get it.

Sic Semper Tryannis

In reply to by Jerzeel

Free This Quantify Thu, 07/05/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

I read ya, but we're spending an awful lot of money doing it, when we could be building factories and infrastructure here. The world is a lawless place, and I get having a toe-hold is more desirable than doing another Normandy. I am kind of split on this feature.

I gave you a thumbs up anyway.

Have a look, we need to get our own house in order:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93mhJqBpssg

Sic Semper Tyrannis

In reply to by Quantify

CatInTheHat Free This Wed, 07/04/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Iran has every right under international law to prevent tankers from hostile states from passing through it's straights. US ships cannot manuever in the straight like Iranian boats can. 

Trump's policy against Iran is the reason for increasing gas prices. Before all is said and done it will be through the roof 

Trump's obsession for the Jew Adelson is causing much blood and treasure lost for Americans as well as the 3,000 murdered on 9/11 and the millions killed in Iraq, Libya Syria and Yemen. 

In reply to by Free This

OverTheHedge Free This Thu, 07/05/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

Firstly, I would have to believe western propaganda to believe that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism.

Secondly, it is openly documented that the US has shipped billions of dollars-worth of weapons to Syria to supply "Moderate Rebels", also known as terrorists.

Thirdly, if terror is based not on a list drawn up in the State Department, but on the number of dead bodies stacked up in a heap, Conan the Barbarian style, the the US wins any and every competition, virtually every year since 1940.

Other than that, great comment :-)

In reply to by Free This

Philthy_Stacker Free This Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:06 Permalink

Hey Jackass, I've been defending your rants for the last couple days, so chill.
You mostly have good points and I realize there's a lot of downs on this thread but I ain't downin' you bra.

Your problem isn't your opinion, it's that you have to insult somebody as well. Racist, homophobic ... it doesn't seem to matter to you. Ad hom attacks will almost never get you any 'ups'. I don't suppose you care but if you want to take on the far Left all by yourself, have at 'er. Pinhead.

In reply to by Free This

flapdoodle I am Groot Thu, 07/05/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

Iran is the greatest "terror" threat only because it causes terror in the minds of Netanyahoo and Zionists like Adelson since the Hezbullah is the one force that has successfully stood up to Isreali expansion and the IDF and that was BEFORE they got heavy duty combat experience in helping wipe out ISIS and the IDF/US/FRENCH/UK commandos in Syria.

In a real war, the IDF will get its clock cleaned by Hezbullah and Netanyahoo knows it, and hopes that by hitting Iran he will weaken Hezbullah. He is incorrect. He will only be opening a two front war and Israel civilians will die, a reality they have never had to face. Israel going after Iran is exactly the wrong thing - they should be striving for peace with Iran but this is a foreign concept to the (((chosenites))).

As for actual evidence Iran is a terrorist state, other than the (((MSM))) parroting this claim, no evidence of this ever offered. Look for yourself. The US and Israel are the real terrorist states, bar none although the UK/France and NATO get honorable mention. Saudi Arabia doesn't get into the list because Saudis are idiots and imbeciles who only do what they are told by the Mossad.

In reply to by I am Groot

Free This OverTheHedge Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

Well, you bring forth a few good points.

Media is propaganda everywhere, one has to be able to read between the lines.

The US via John McStain, et al, did arm the "opposition", and I think that is just wrong.

Third, the Islamo-Fascists and the tin pot dictators in the ME are as vile as they get.

I believe Russia is bombing the fuck out of that place too, but no mention of them, why?

I hate the fact we have troops over there, or anywhere, I truly do, I say let them kill each other and God will sort it out.

You are rational and reasoned, so thumbs up for you Hedge. Carry on.

Sic Semper Tryannis

In reply to by OverTheHedge