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The Passage of Ships in the Strait of Hormuz Should Be Protected

At one time, not many years ago, it was taken for granted that anyone who dared to block the passage of oil tankers through the Strait of Hormuz would face an immediate, massive attack from the West.

One look at the map is enough to understand why. It is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the open sea beyond. For this reason it is one of the most strategic places in the world.

The reason why the Strait is so important is simple: 20% of the world’s oil passes through it. If it is closed, even for a short period of time, the impact on the international economy and the security of the West would be catastrophic. On the one hand, the price of oil would soar and, on the other hand, the U.S. Six Fleet, for example, could run out of oil.

Lately, however, the Revolutionary Guards, the forces on which Iran’s theocratic regime is based, have been interfering with the free passage of oil tankers. Not only that, but sometimes they go so far as to seize ships at gunpoint and hold them for long periods of time without any, at least overt, reaction from America

Indeed, sometimes these ships are owned by Greek interests sailing under different flags of convenience. So, apart from anything else, Greece has reason to be concerned and to contribute in any way it can to putting an end to this dangerous and unacceptable situation.

And now a series of articles in major American newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, are raising public awareness of this problem.

Perhaps because of this, or perhaps because the Iranians’ insolence seems to have gone beyond acceptable limits, a few days ago, according to the Associated Press, the U.S. Navy, in conjunction with that of Great Britain, intervened and prevented the Iranian Navy from seizing an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

It’s about time. Just as it is time to intervene, in whatever way they deem effective, to force the Iranians to release the ships they are holding

It is not possible for the economy of the world to be based on the moods, revolutionary or otherwise, of Iranian fundamentalists.

Appeasement, we have been taught, is not a serious strategic option. It arms the blackmailers even more.


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