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Full-scale trade war looms closer
The Nationalist Internationale Is Crumbling
NYT: How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port
Russian Electoral Intervention: Strategic Genius or Something Else? - Dan Nexon argues that Moscow’s decision to back Trump was a risky gamble. Even though Trump managed to win and is damaging American power, leadership, and influence, this may very well harm Russia's interests in the long-term.
SS: President Hassan Rouhani pledged on Wednesday that Iran will stand firm against U.S. threats to cut Iranian oil sales, and said Washington had not thought about the consequences of such a move.
“The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero... It shows they have not thought about its consequences,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on an official visit to Vienna.
Rouhani’s comments echoed his remarks on Tuesday when he hinted at a threat to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries if Washington presses ahead with its goal of forcing all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.
Rouhani did not elaborate, but Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action against Iran.
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander praised Rouhani’s remarks on Wednesday, said the Guards were ready to implement such a policy.
Major-General Qassem Soleimani said in a letter published on IRNA: “I kiss your (Rouhani’s) hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”
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Wouldn’t this be casus belli?
Yes. Forcing other countries to stop buying Iranian oil has to be considered an existential threat to the Iranian regime. In that context their response here is understandable. For Washington, a military response to such an action would be all but assured. This is not heading in a positive direction.
Well who knows if it will actually happen. Can Iran pull this off completely without Russian assistance?
> Russian assistance
Wouldn't happen in a thousand years, the only reason the oil isolation is even working is because Russia undermined Iran at the OPEC meeting.
Past performance does not endure future results. Russia is a petro-state as well. While I doubt they would be foolish enough to actively assist in such a project it is entirely likely they would be... permissive. Much like they were with Turkey in Afrin. Think it through petroleum is their main leverage in negotiating with European NATO nations. If the other large region for supply has issues it increases their leverage.
But wouldn't they prefer to see the rise of oil prices, which will happen if a US-Iran war occurs?
Absolutely. Which is why I doubt they would oppose such foolish behavior on Iran's part.
I see. I misunderstood. Thanks
Russia currently has three goals in the middle east
a) Increasing the oil price
b) Saving Assad
c) Taking influence from the USA
Neither of the goals requires to save Iran from US strikes.
I'm not saying Russia would stop them, the US would. Russia wouldn't be actively assisting them.
Russia and Iran were and never will be friends, only temporary allies when interests dictate. Russia gains from Iran bans on oil, because NOW, Russia's economy is based on oil and gas exports.
Does the US really need one?
Wouldn't Iran get absolutely crushed in this scenario? Are their generals/leaders that delusional?
Not necessarily. Blockading the strait is something they're easily able to and have trained their military to so as a priority in an emergency. Sure if the US were to invade in reaction to that they'd crumble, but they'd still look like the victims in that scenario, and that is precisely the reason why they wouldn't be attacked by anyone in their right mind. Keywords "in their right mind". It's still very much a violation of international law to attack them militarily even if they embargo.
Blocking the straights would be an act of war against every nation that uses the straight and/or receives oil from it. They would have 500 fighter jets attacking all their ships/batteries in the straights within the first day. With even more in the following days. Iran wouldn't hold the blockage for more than a few days.
Sounds like a great way to get the whole thing to blow up in your face and at least lose a big chunk of your Navy and costal installations.
This seems more of a last ditch plan than anything else.. that is - after everything has already blown up in your face, Iran would and could do this.
Blocking the Strait of Hormuz for any length of time is likely to cause worldwide recession.
See, this is why you lose wars. You think that blowing stuff up is all it takes, and don't count that there's a day after, and the other guy gets to respond, and while you can start wars, you don't get to decide when they end.
And fyi any military conflict near the Straits of Hormuz (half Iranian waters BTW) would result in such an economic mess (start with tanker insurance rates) that the world economy would suffer
It's literally what we did in the 70s with few consequences.
Not at all the same That was in the 80s, a limited skirmish againt lightly armed vessels in which Iran avoided conflict with the US when Iran was fighting Saddam (backed by the US) and Iran had not spent the past 25 years preparing for a conflict with the US over the Straits as they did now, and didn't have things like Silkworm or Sunburn missiles, and furthermore that was not a case of Iran blocking the Straits (in fact Iran took the US to the the World Court over that incident which ruled against the US.) And the effect on oil prices was actually dramatic so the Saudis had to boost production -- and then went nearly broke. They're already close to broke now.
Half the Straits of Hormuz are Iranian waters, and belligerents have the legal right to stop and search vessels on the high seas
This is just some commander that plays no role in deciding this. This move would be so incredibly counterproductive as it would push every Gulf state and Europe into war with Iran. Meanwhile US gets to sit pretty as it is not dependent on said shipments whatsoever. Should the world be unfortunate enough to see a military confrontation between US and Iran then there is merit in making transit as difficult as possible to strain the global economy, before the war starts however this move is just stupid.
It's not just the commander, President Rouhani hinted it Wednesday morning and Qassem Solemani and rest of the IRGC leadership praised it.
I think that Rouhani is posturing for the Europeans in order to pressure them not to give in. Its highly unlikely that Iran would try to block Gulf oil shipping.
I wonder how many hours Iran would continue to have a navy if they actually went through on that threat.
They barely have a surface navy as it is. They do have a bunch of Kilos, those can be troublesome - a good diesel sub is pretty much undetectable when its laying still on seabed. They also have a lot of small armed boats, lightly armed but more than enough to harass/hijack any oil tankers. The rest of their navy is of such vintage, there is literally no point in it leaving ports in case of major conflict - its as likely to sink on its own as it is to be sunk(maybe a bit exaggered here, but only a bit).
The biggest threat they have is shore-based anti-ship missiles. They have lots of them, and plenty of shoreline to pre-deploy them.
In fact, since Hormuz is 30km at its narrowest, they can just deploy some howitzers and threaten to shell any tanker not under their flag that is passing through - should do the trick just fine.
a good diesel sub is pretty much undetectable when its laying still on seabed.
Not true at all. Sonar still reflects off of them. With such a small area they would be found eventually. Especially as they surface for air.
Surface batteries can be detected and destroyed.
If they successfully mined the waterways it wouldn't matter.
Instance costs alone would be a disaster for the world.
That would actually give usa a good reason to go to war with iran