Iran’s Undisputed Weapon: Power to Block the Strait of Hormuz
Although Iran’s ability to throw the global economy into chaos has long been recognized, there’s no ready alternative for moving oil out of the Strait of Hormuz.
In Iran's confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic has one undisputed weapon: The ability to block the most important oil transit choke point in the world.
Although military strategists and diplomatic experts have worried about Iran's capability to throw the global economy into chaos for more than three decades, there has been little progress in developing alternative petroleum routes to defuse the power of Iran's threat to block the Strait of Hormuz.
(See interactive graphic: "Strait of Hormuz: The World's Key Oil Choke Point")
Tensions increased last week after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a blunt warning that time was running out for stopping Iran's nuclear program. Iran has claimed that its uranium enrichment facilities