04 January 2012

Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Eugene Gholz was quoted in this Time article on Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. Dr. Gholz argues that closing the Strait would be a difficult, and perhaps impossible, task for Iran.

An Iranian naval chief recently announced that Iran is fully capable of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, which is crucial for oil transport through the Persian Gulf. This has sparked intense debate regarding the credibility of the threat. Some experts worry that Iran could block international shipping through the Strait and severely damage the world economy while others maintain that the international community would not tolerate such a disruptive act.

This article highlights a piece that Dr. Gholz wrote for Foreign Policy in 2009. He cautions the U.S. against aggressively overreacting to Iran’s threats and risking an “unnecessary escalation” of tension. Dr. Gholz refutes the presumption that Iran can easily close the Strait and concludes that “the world can afford to relax from its current hair-trigger alert.”