‘Better to have an intelligent enemy than a foolish friend.’
In the event Iran is attacked by the Israel, Iran’s political and military leaders are reported to rely on a “doomsday option,” this option calls for closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the most strategic stretch of water on the planet. At its narrowest the Strait of Hormuz is approximately 22 miles wide, with “traffic lanes” only 4 miles wide.
Ayatollah Mahmoud Alavi dismisses talk of Israeli military strike as empty propaganda, claims ‘Zionist threats’ are for themselves and ‘their masters who are struggling with Wall Street movement.’
“There is a difference between the roar of a lion and the scream of a cat that has been trapped in a corner,” he said. “And this threat of the Zionist regime and its master America is like the scream of a cornered cat.”
Ayatollah Mahmoud Alavi thinks this is the game of chicken, also known as the hawk-dove, it is an influential model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the worst possible outcome occurs when both players do not yield.
The name “chicken” has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a “chicken,” meaning a coward; this terminology is most prevalent in political science and economics. Iran is a cornered tiger today, it can afford to roar like a lion but the consequences are calamitous.
Mullah led ‘Roar of a lion’ that may lead to closure of Hormuz by the ‘cornered tiger Iran’ will be a disaster of top order, the first victim will be the regime itself that will be flushed out of the region. For world economy to operate certain lines cannot be crossed, Strait of Hormuz is one such line for survival and welfare of 4 billon people within ASEA.
When the Iranian regime threatens the use of the “doomsday option,” to close the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian clergy fails to comprehend that though definitely the Strait of Hormuz leading out of the Persian Gulf is one of the world’s most strategic chokepoints. They have two immediate problems:
1- They will stifle the economies of China, India along with the entire Asean grouping. That is nearly 4 billion people affected off the bat.
2- They will completely choke their own exports and imports. Iran happens to be a major food and refined oil products importer.
If the regime studies the volume of oil that is transported through the Strait of Malacca the other key chokepoint in Asia, an estimated 14 million mb/d of this Persian Gulf oil flow through the strait to China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The Northbound oil from Strait of Hormuz is a minuscule proportion that Iran wants to stop. That oil goes through the Bab el-Mandab en route to the Suez. The Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. It is located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Most exports from the Persian Gulf that transit the Suez Canal and SUMED pipeline also pass through the Bab el-Mandab. The volume of traffic is about 1.8 million mb/d. The Suez Canal connects the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. With only 1,000 feet at its narrowest point, the Canal is unable to handle the VLCC (Very Large Crude Carriers) and ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carriers) class crude oil tankers.
The balance of 16 mb/d that passes through Hormuz, minus Indian consumption, minus 14mb/d through Malacca, minus 1.8mb/d Bab el-Mandab is carried by Very Large Crude Carriers from Persian Gulf around the Cape of Good Hope.
The above clearly indicates that most of the oil volume out of Hormuz goes to either to India, and through Strait of Malacca onwards through the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean. Malacca is the shortest sea route between Persian Gulf suppliers and the Asian markets –notably China, Japan, South Korea, and the Pacific Rim. Oil shipments through the Strait of Malacca supply China and Indonesia, two of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Closure of Strait of Hormuz will only hurt Iran itself and its closest allies! South Asians, Chinese and the Aseans. USA and Europeans are not dependent on the oil of Hormuz in short term. Such a strategy will put Iran on a collision course with the entire world. Even if Iran pursues its self destructive policy this black mail will not impact the west, they should be aware that the US SPR is the largest emergency supply in the world with the current capacity to hold up to 727 million barrels (115,600,000 m3).
The current inventory is displayed on the SPR’s website as of May 31, 2011 was 726.5 million barrels (115,500,000 m3). This equates to 34 days of oil at current daily US consumption levels of 21 million barrels per day (3,300,000 m3/d). At recent market prices ($65 a barrel as of October 2008) the SPR holds over $34.3 billion in sweet crude and approximately $51.2 billion in sour crude (assuming a $15/barrel discount for sulfur content). The total value of the crude in the SPR is approximately $85.5 billion USD. The price paid for the oil is $20.1 billion (an average of $28.42 per barrel).
Will Iranians in face of adversity of the entire world populace able to close the Straits for few month? Even their greatest ally on their Eastern and Western borders semi theocratic Pakistan/Iraqs will not be able to smuggle a single morsel of grain, as they will be the ones most impacted by the closure of Hormuz. All lights will go off, the economies will standstill. This self ruin should be averted at all cost, to play the ‘game of chicken’ with the fortunes of nation is taking the nation to the point of no return.
How much more imprudence and idiocy this regime wants to burden the Iranian nation with? Iranian nation stands at a dire cross road, with rulers like these who needs an enemy! Eastern Wisdom that dictates ‘Better to have an intelligent enemy than a foolish friend’ fits flawlessly fine here.