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Navy: Iran able to shut down oil route
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 12/04/2009 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
Strait of Hormuz, with Iran on north
The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence has confirmed that Iran can shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which more than 30 percent of the world’s oil supplies pass, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The report was posted on the website for the ONI, but abruptly removed after about a week.
Before its unexpected removal, G2B was able to obtain a copy of the unclassified report titled, “Iran’s Naval Forces: From Guerrilla Warfare to a Modern Naval Strategy.”
The report confirms a September G2B assessment that suggested the possibility of such a development should either the United States or Israel decide to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The G2B report had pointed out that while Iran’s ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz may be short-lived, the impact would be highly detrimental to the world economy. ONI confirms that assessment.
“Given the importance of the Strait, disrupting traffic flow or even threatening to do so may be an effective tool for Iran,” ONI warned.
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World economies would suffer a “serious economic impact from a sustained closure of the Strait of Hormuz due to greatly reduced supplies of crude oil, petroleum supplies and (liquefied natural gas),” ONI said.
The report also pointed to Iran’s naval modernization to help carry out such a closure. Indeed, the report said that Iran not only is expanding its current arms inventories but is adding “increasingly sophisticated systems” which it has acquired from China and Russia.
The Chinese have provided Iran with an arsenal of C801 and C802 cruise missiles which it could use for coastal defense. The missiles are capable of reaching any point within the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, according to the Navy.
Iran also has worked with China to develop shorter-range missiles, including the C701, for “deployment in narrow geographic environments,” the report added.
Iran’s air defenses include systems from Russia including the TOR-M1 and the recently purchased but yet undelivered S-300.
The ONI report tended to confirm what the Navy until now has refused to talk about, namely Iran’s possible possession of a “supercavitation high-speed missile torpedo.” For some time, there has been speculation that Iran may have acquired from the Russians or Chinese this torpedo capable of speeds of 250 knots.
The U.S. Navy has no defense against it, making U.S. warships such as aircraft carriers and other battle group ships vulnerable. A similar threat also comes from Iranian submarines.
The Strait of Hormuz, however, is not the only potential chokepoint where oil supplies could be cut in the event of a crisis. Throughout the world, there are some six such chokepoints of which some are in areas currently embroiled in serious turmoil and political tension.
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