Saudi Arabia ready for war against Iran
Saudi Arabia is ready for a military action against Iran if it tries to block the Strait of Hormuz, an adviser at Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry Ibrahim al-Muhanna said, adding Iran would be unable to close the straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab even partially.
Speaking at an oil conference in the Norwegian city of Stavanger, al-Muhanna said Iran would be the first to lose out on a move to block those major shipping routes and that any such action would trigger further sanctions on Iran.
The adviser said that if Iran closes Strait of Hormuz, U.N. Security Council likely to authorize military action against Iran.
“The amount of oil going through the Strait of Hormuz is so large. There’s more than 18 million barrels a day, about two thirds of world maritime oil trade. Meaning, cutting oil from there will lead to an acute oil shortage and prices will skyrocket,” Muhanna said.
“Is Iran able or willing to close completely, or even partially, the Strait of Hormuz or Bab Al-Mandab, or both? The answer is no, and a really big no," Reuters cited him as saying.
Al-Muhanna also said that current U.S. sanctions on Iran are unlikely to stop Iranian oil exports completely. “They will continue to export 1 million (barrels per day) or so. So closing that Strait of Hormuz will damage the Iranians as much as damaging others,” he said.
Yesterday, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, said on Monday that Iran had full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy did not belong there. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Twitter post later: “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways.”
Senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that in the current situation both Iran's block of the Strait of Hormuz, Riyadh's ability to effectively fight against Tehran, and the UN Security Council's permission for a military operation against Iran raise doubts.
"The statements we sometimes hear from Tehran are mainly propaganda. Of course, it is technically easy to block the strait - sinking several large ships and barges would be enough, but it would mean the beginning of a serious war," he explained.
"In this war, Saudi Arabia will not be able to defeat Iran alone. In spite of Riyadh's good military equipment with American weapons and military equipment, the armies of the two countries are not comparable. The Iranian one is much more powerful, especially in the Persian Gulf. Iran already has experience of the so-called tanker war that took place during the Iran-Iraq war in the Persian Gulf in 1980-1988. But it is clear that the Saudis will not fight against Iran alone, they said that they will go to war only in the company of the allies," Vladimir Sazhin recalled.
"But there will be no permission from the UN Security Council for this war. There are Russia and China in the Security Council, and no circumstances will make them agree to a military action against Iran," the senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences stressed.
The leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center, Alexander Karavaev, agreed with Sazhin. "Once, the Strait of Hormuz was already blocked in the Iran-Iraq war, although it was local and temporary. But now, if it happens, serious military action is to be expected," he pointed out.
"As for the UN Security Council, such a decision is technically impossible, because Russia and China will veto it. In general, there is a danger of escalation, considering that the military conflict with Iran is beneficial to the U.S., which will be untied by other people's hands," Alexander Karavaev said.
"The question now is whether Iran is ready for large-scale military operations in the current situation. The processes in modern Iran are fundamentally different from what it was in the 80s amid the rise of the religious and patriotic spirit. The current liberalization and fatigue from the theocratic regime can hardly provoke a comparable patriotic rise," the expert concluded.