Iran claims it now controls the Straits of Hormuz and this could trigger US-Iran war

The head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, said on Monday that Iran had full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy did not belong there.

Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it. Closing the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping.

“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said in the quote, which appeared in English translation on Tasnim.

He added, “All the carriers and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full supervision over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most senior authority in the Islamic Republic, said last month that he supported the idea that if Iran is not allowed to export oil then no country should export oil from the Gulf.

One-third of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Nextbigfuture opinion is that US will not recognize Iran’s control

The US will not recognize Iran’s control of the Strait.

If Iran tries to control US military ships then this would likely trigger a shooting conflict.

Iran’s forces versus US

Iran test-fired a ballistic missile last month. The test of an Iranian Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missile coincided with a large-scale naval exercise by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces late last week involving over 50 small gunboats in the Strait of Hormuz to rehearse “swarm” tactics which could one day potentially shut down the vital waterway.

Iran has previously harassed US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and around the Strait of Hormuz, with the most notable case being Iran’s capture of 10 US Navy sailors in January 2016, who had drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems.

Iran has various anti-ship missiles. The Nasr-1 is a domestically-manufactured Iranian short range anti ship missile capable of evading radar. It has a range of about 35 kilometers (20 miles) It has the capability of destroying 1,500-tonne targets such as small warships like frigates. Nasr-1 missile can be launched from both inland bases and offshore military vessels, and is being modified to be fired from helicopters and submarines.

Iran has thousands of sea mines, torpedoes, advanced cruise missiles, regular-sized and mini-submarines, and its flotilla of small fast-attack boats.

When commanding CENTCOM between 2010 and 2013, now-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis developed a multinational plan to minimize disruptions to maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz by preventing Iranian efforts to lay mines and systematically clear mines that have been deployed — assumed to be the major means to hinder traffic as it is difficult to sink a modern double-hull oil tanker by torpedo or missile attack. They would try to make larger paths through the minefields.

U.S. military planners believe that American and allied forces would defeat Iran if it attempted to close the Strait of Hormuz. The most optimistic planners believe U.S.-led forces could reopen the Strait within a few days while others think it could take up to three months to restore maritime traffic to normal levels.

Even in the optimistic scenario, an actual shooting war and conflict would spike oil over $100 per barrel even if a crisis was mostly resolved in days. In the short scenarios there is pipeline and other capacity and in the longer scenarios there are strategic reserves. A bigger crisis would be if a desperate Iran hit the Saudi Arabian Abqaiq oil processing facility. This would disrupt 7 million barrels per day until it was fixed.

There are US bases and US troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Turkey.

The US 5th Fleet is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf with carriers, ships, strike aircraft, sailors and marines and has been involved in periodic confrontations with Iranian forces.

According to the US Navy, from January 2016 to August 2017 there was an average of 2.5 interactions per month between US troops and Iranian maritime forces.

Iran’s navy mounted a locally-built advanced defensive weapons system on one of its warships for the first time.

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi reiterated that coastal and sea testing of the short-range defense Kamand system was concluded successfully. The system will be mounted on a second ship soon.

SOURCES- Dailyoilbulletin, Reuters, PressTV