Iran has every right to shut down the strait being as to cross it you have to go through Territorial waters of Iran. They've threatened to shut the straight down last year, and attack American shipments. Considering that 20-40% of all oil in the world cross that strait it would be very stupid of anyone to piss off Iran anymore then they already are. Even if you were to attack Iran, the effect of just two - 3 weeks of limited oil supply for the world would be devastating. (talking about gas prices in the 20 dollar range for a gallon if you could find the gas to buy. To note the United States and Iran have been having conflicts of late and the area is already heavily bogged down with military forces, with us having 5 battle groups in the area.
To traverse the Strait, ships pass through the territorial waters of Iran and Oman under the transit passage provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although not all countries have ratified the convention, most countries, including the U.S.,accept these customary navigation rules as codified in the Convention.
A series of naval stand-offs between Iranian speedboats and US warships in the Strait of Hormuz occurred in December 2007 and January 2008. US officials accused Iran of harassing and provoking their naval vessels; Iranian officials denied these allegations. On January 14, 2008, US naval officials appeared to contradict the Pentagon version of the Jan. 16 event, in which U.S. officials said U.S. vessels were near to firing on approaching Iranian boats. The Navy's regional commander, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, said the Iranians had "neither anti-ship missiles nor torpedoes" and that he "wouldn't characterize the posture of the US 5th Fleet as afraid of these small boats"
On June 29, 2008, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ali Mohammed Jafari, stated that if Iran were attacked by Israel or the United States, it would seal off the Strait of Hormuz, thereby wreaking havoc in oil markets. This statement followed other more ambiguous threats from Iran's oil minister and other government officials that a Western attack on Iran would result in oil supply turmoil.
In response, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet stationed in Bahrain across the Persian Gulf from Iran, warned that such an action by Iran would be considered an act of war, and that the U.S. would not allow Iran to effectively hold hostage nearly a third of the world's oil supply.
On July 8, 2008, Ali Shirazi, a mid-level clerical aide to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted by the student news agency ISNA as saying to Revolutionary Guards, "The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran's first targets and they will be burned."
One analyst concluded that Iran could seal off or impede traffic in the Strait for a month, and a U.S. attempt to reopen it would likely escalate the conflict
In the last week of July 2008, Operation Brimstone brought dozens of US and foreign navys’ ships together off the US East Coast for joint exercises and practice in littoral operations (such as would be used in the shallow waters off the coast of Iran).
As of August 11, 2008, more than 40 US and allied ships are reported en route to the Straits of Hormuz. One US carrier battle group from Japan will complement two more which are already in the Persian Gulf, for a total of five battle groups, not counting submarines.
Edited by carpanfan96, 21 February 2009 - 10:01 AM.