Iran Navy Reassures West It Won't Block Strait of Hormuz
Iran Parliament plays to cheap seats by calling for Strait to be blocked in response to sanctions.
Moqawama, the official Hezbollah site (as linked to by Robert Johnson at Business Insider) recently featured a graphic on how Iran might retaliate for the sanctions imposed on it by the West. It depicts seven different missiles that could cripple an American aircraft carrier the Strait of Hormuz. Iran wouldn't do that, would it?
Maybe not anytime soon, but …
On July 21, Reuters reported that, while it has "little say in defense and foreign policy, where Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last word. … Just over half of Iran's parliament has backed a draft law to block the Strait of Hormuz, a lawmaker said on Friday, threatening to close the Gulf to oil tankers in retaliation against European sanctions on Iranian crude."
… the law would lend political support to any decision to close the strait -- a threat that Iran's foreign minister recently played down.
Today Reuters reports that Tehraan once again felt compelled to tone down the rhetoric.
Iran would not close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it is able to use the vital shipping line itself, a military commander was quoted as saying on Monday, moderating threats by politicians to block the waterway as retaliation for sanctions.
“The enemies constantly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to close the Strait of Hormuz but we say that common sense does not dictate that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it makes use of it,” said Alireza Tangsiri, deputy naval commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, state news agency IRNA reported.
Apparently Tehran is not that different from the United States where a bellicose Congress feels free to play to the cheap seats and call for war. It's left to the White House and Pentagon to act as the voice -- comparatively speaking -- of reason.