Iran prepares for massive military exercise in the ‘the world’s most important oil transit chokepoint’ in the Persian Gulf

Thursday, August 2, 2018
By Paul Martin

Iran could exercise its ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz in Persian Gulf
More than 20% of oil traded worldwide moves through Strait of Hormuz waters
Comes as US reimpose sanctions on Tehran and Trump pulls out of nuclear deal

2 August 2018

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard could exercise its ability to block off a major strait amid intensifying tensions with the US.

The military group has sent 100 boats to the Persian Gulf for naval exercises which could result in them shutting off the Strait of Hormuz, according to US officials.

The Strait of Hormuz is a conduit between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman which provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean.

It’s one of the world’s most important oil choke points, with 20 per cent of oil traded worldwide moving through the waterway.

The military exercise comes after President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield to a renewed US campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.

The US military’s Central Command confirmed that it has seen an increase in Iranian activity and said the timing of their naval exercise is unusual.

‘We are aware of the increase in Iranian naval operations within the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman,’ said Navy Captain Bill Urban, the chief spokesman at Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East.

‘We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,’ Urban added.

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