December 17, 2009
Will Iran Challenge the U.S. Navy?
Michael Auslin, Weekly Standard
A small splash is being made by accounts of a recent Office of Naval Intelligence report claiming that Iran has achieved the capability of "easily" closing off the Straits of Hormuz in wartime. Supposedly, the Iranian navy has sufficient surface and subsurface vessels, along with advanced missile torpedoes, that can hold enemy naval ships at risk. This matters now because of concerns that an Israeli (or U.S.) attack on Iran's nuclear program could result in Tehran's retaliation, including choking off 40 percent of the world's oil supply.
Whether or not Iran truly maintains this capability--and it is hard to believe that even if Iran succeeded in closing off the Straits the U.S. Navy and Air Force would not be able to re-open them easily--any conflict in the Straits would prove...
TAGGED: United States Navy, Persian Gulf, strait of Hormuz, Iran