Getting the Strait of Hormuz straight: an FAQ

Iran has caused a stir with its threat this week to close down the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions were imposed on Iranian oil exports. Here’s why this small body of water generates so much world attention.

3. Would the international community be able to stop Iran if it tried to shut down the waterway?

Yes. The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain on the Persian Gulf and the American response to Iran’s threat was "any disruption will not be tolerated."

Analysts have been unequivocal in their assertions that the fleet has the ability to disrupt any Iranian efforts to block the Strait. European powers whose oil shipments are also threatened by the closure would likely join the US effort.

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