World cannot survive 24h without PG oil
An Iranian navy boat fires a missile during the Velayat 90 drills in the Persian Gulf on December 30, 2011.
Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces says the world cannot last 24 hours without Persian Gulf oil, stressing that Tehran is fully capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz.
“Today, out of the 1,300 billion barrels of oil in the world, 800 billion barrels are in the Persian Gulf,” said Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Friday, adding that it is impossible to imagine a world without the energy produced in the Persian Gulf region.
The Strait of Hormuz lies between Iran and Oman and is a narrow shipping channel that leads in and out of the Persian Gulf.
Statistic-wise, the strait is one of the world's most important waterways, with a daily flow of about 15 million barrels of oil, which accounts for 90 percent of Persian Gulf exports and 40 percent of global consumption.
Describing Iran as an absolute regional power, Fadavi said the Islamic Republic has had “repeated experiences” in closing the Hormuz Strait, especially during the Iraqi imposed war in the 1980s.
The IRGC navy commander further pointed to US failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and said the US is incapable of maintaining its own security let alone that of the Persian Gulf.
Iran's First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi warned on December 27 that imposing sanctions against the country's energy sector will prompt Tehran to prevent oil cargoes from passing through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
“If they impose sanctions on Iran's oil, not even a drop of oil will be allowed through the Strait of Hormuz,” he warned.
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari also said on December 28 that Iran has complete command over the strategic waterway and that “closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces.”
The Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet responded by saying it would not “tolerate” any disruption in the Strait of Hormuz.
"[The fleet] maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities," a spokesperson for the fleet said.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of sanctions as well as to call for an attack on the country.
Tehran, however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iranian officials have also promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.