Accession Number ADA584459
Title Iran's Threat to the Strait of Hormuz.
Publication Date Jan 2012
Media Count 24p
Personal Author K. Katzman M. Ratner N. Nerurkar R. O'Rourke R. C. Mason
Abstract Some officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have recently renewed threats to close or exercise control over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's threats appear to have been prompted by the likely imposition of new multilateral sanctions targeting Iran's economic lifeline -- the export of oil and other energy products. In the past, Iranian leaders have made similar threats and comments when the country's oil exports have been threatened. However, as in the past, the prospect of a major disruption of maritime traffic in the Strait risks damaging Iranian interests. U.S. and allied military capabilities in the region remain formidable. This makes a prolonged outright closure of the Strait appear unlikely. Nevertheless, such threats can and do raise tensions in global energy markets and leave the United States and other global oil consumers to consider the risks of another potential conflict in the Middle East. This report explains Iranian threats to the Strait of Hormuz, and analyzes the implications of some scenarios for potential U.S. or international conflict with Iran. An outright closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a major artery of the global oil market, would be an unprecedented disruption of global oil supply and contribute to higher global oil prices. However, at present, this appears to be a low probability event. Were this to occur, it is not likely to be prolonged. It would likely trigger a military response from the United States and others. Iran could harass tanker traffic through the Strait through a range of measures without necessarily shutting down all traffic. Iranian officials could continue to make threatening statements without taking action. This could still raise energy market tensions and contribute to higher oil prices, though only to the degree that oil market participants take such threats seriously.
Keywords Crude oil
Diplomacy
Economic sanctions
Exports
Geopolitics
Hormuz strait
Iran
Military forces(United states)
Response
Scenarios
Threats
United states government


 
Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 96 - Business & Economics
92 - Behavior & Society
Corporate Author Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Congressional rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1402
Contract Number N/A

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