October 28, 2008

Just when things were looking up…

Iran has announced the opening of a new naval base just east of the Persian Gulf, strategically located near the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil chokepoint.  The Iranian naval chief, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, has said that this move was intended to “enable Iran to block the entry of an enemy into the Gulf.” Iran is now and has historically threatened to close the strait in the event of an attack by foreign powers.

These new developments come after biting remarks by an official in the Europe/US department in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Wahid Karimi. He said that due to the increasing threats of an attack on Tehran by either the US or Israel, Iran should attack London as a preemptive measure. “The most appropriate means of deterrence that Iran has, in addition to a retaliatory operation in the [Gulf] region, is to take action against London,” said Karimi.

This comes off as an obviously ill-conceived threat.  How would Iran attacking London make them seem like any less of a threat in the eyes of the international community? Additionally, there has been talk about the possibilities of launching a preemptive attack on Israel to negate any actions they may be planning against Iran. From history, one can gather that in the face of foreign military threats, Israel will not back down.

This move by the Iranian higher-up has obvious motives; the West appears to be gearing up for action against Iran in various ways and so Iran, not to be outdone, is doing the same. The verbal threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz pales in comparison to actually setting up a naval base with the capacity to close the strait indefinitely.

With the increasing threats and heightened tensions from both sides, the logical conclusion can be little else than bad news.

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