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
emptywheel @NC_Prime If you make clients cut bread subsidies at a time of already high unrest you're going to necessitate further repression.
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emptywheel @NC_Prime That's part of the reason I said our neoliberal ideology can no longer work to ground imperialism.
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emptywheel @HMonotreme Tho your slavery point is key, agree. @NC_Prime
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emptywheel @HMonotreme heroin isn't a part of our empire? cocaine? Much of Latin America disagrees on the latter. @NC_Prime
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emptywheel @NC_Prime Also leads the US to make stupid trade deals that gut our own manufacturing which will eventually hurt military readiness 2/2
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emptywheel @NC_Prime Adding, that to extent we HAVE an ideology it's neoliberalism that requires satellites succeed w/export economy that 1/2
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emptywheel @NC_Prime I think it gets to your issues of ROI on imperialism.
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emptywheel @NC_Prime I think imperialism always depends on ideology more than imperialists like to admit. We don't have a viable one.
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emptywheel RT @NC_Prime: 7. If you think Imperialism is economically, let alone politically, viable in the 21st century I've got a Blockbuster franchi…
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emptywheel @SeanVitka Well, I didn't give you the vocab, so only partial credit.
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emptywheel @SeanVitka Majority Leaders switch votes at least minute all the time for that reason--that's what lets him avoid invoking cloture again.
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emptywheel @SeanVitka He needed to for parliamentary reasons. He can bring it up on Sunday bc he was on the losing side last time.
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