aircraft carrier video

No Straight Talk, Only Posturing Between US, Iran on Strait of Hormuz

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8yG5G2Kwt0[/youtube]

Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz are getting a lot of play in the press the past few days. As the ten days of naval war games for Iran that began on Saturday have continued, Iran’s bluster has gotten stronger, as have the US responses.

Ironically, Iran’s stated purpose when it began the war games included the desire to “convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries” and yet, as can be seen in the video here, Iranian authorities are now saying that should their ability to export oil be curtailed through sanctions put in place by the US and European allies, they would close down the Strait of Hormuz, preventing exports by other countries in the region.

The impact of a real closure would be huge. Many of the numbers involved can be gleaned from this Bloomberg article published this morning. Iran’s oil exports amount to 3.6 million barrels a day, which means Iran only accounts for 23% of the 15.5 million barrels a day that pass through the Strait. It is believed that Saudi Arabia could produce an extra 2.5 million barrels a day in the event of sanctions halting Iran’s supply, and up to 200,000 more barrels a day could come from other countries in the region, so about 75% of Iran’s output probably could be replaced quickly.

However, with the Strait closed, the entire 15.5 million barrels a day could be disrupted. There is a pipeline being built by the United Arab Emirates that the Bloomberg article says will be ready “soon” and could bypass the Strait with 1.4 to 1.8 million barrels a day, but this would be only a very small fraction of the lost supply.

Even though such a closure would be seen as a direct response to the US and its European allies, the impact on China should not be overlooked. The CIA world factbook informs us that the US imports 10.3 million barrels a day and the EU imports 8.6 million, but China is next in line at 4.8 million barrels a day.  How would China respond to such a huge disruption of their supply, especially if it comes about through a series of disagreements where they have not been included in the discourse? Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @csoghoian @benwizner @washingtonian Congrats Chris; well deserved.
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bmaz @PGEddington Yet another lose-lose gambit by Reid, just like the Loretta Lynch/Human trafficking linage was lose-lose.
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bmaz @starshollowgzt @ChrisInParis What could go wrong??
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bmaz @ElissaBeth @normative @michaellatulip Does DEA follow rule of law?? Haha, good one. What a naive question. DEA makes NSA look like pikers
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bmaz RT @william_pitts: I was just told of a fight I would pay waaaaay more than $100 to watch. @RondaRousey vs Mayweather. #TAKEMYMONEYNOW
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bmaz RT @kgosztola: Looks like FBI played role in radicalization of one of men involved in #TexasAttack http://t.co/dxV20XIpQM http://t.co/NOQWW
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bmaz @rickhasen Cuomo, but not rue Preet has the cojones to really pull the trigger on that.
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bmaz RT @radleybalko: "Sentiment" doesn't kill. Bullets do. And shooting deaths of cops are down 48%, on pace for an all-time low. https://t.co/
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bmaz RT @KagroX: 37 pins on my accidental shootings at Walmart board https://t.co/sqU2ym3zxY JUST Walmart.
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bmaz @HanniFakhoury I wonder what they will find?!?!
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emptywheel @bradheath Or maybe it's just a sign they're getting better at writing themselves immunity.
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emptywheel @bradheath I'd believe the urgency more if the IC weren't writing a still more ridiculous exigent circumstances clause into USAF.
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