Earlier in the year the Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, stated that they would carry out eight military drills throughout the course of the current Iranian calendar year; which runs from March 21st to March 20th.
Now, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, has announced what could be the last set of military operations of the year to occur sometime between now and the 20th of March.
Fadavi told the Iranian student news agency ISNA, that “by the end of the (Iranian) year we will hold an exercise in the Strait of Hormuz and will announce the exact time soon.”
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Iran has always threatened to block the Straits if it came under any form of military attack due to its controversial nuclear programme. However at the same time other officials have been reported as stating that the Strait will never be closed. Perhaps the threat was merely intended to cause fear and uncertainty in the oil market, sufficient enough to drive up the price of oil during the beginning of the year, and reduce the impact of western sanctions on revenue from Iranian crude exports.
There is a strong western military presence in the Gulf determined to keep the Straits open, and prevent Iran from making any move to restrict traffic. However, Iran has got it into its head that it is their military presence in the region which ensures that the Straits remain open and safe to travel, even when there is no one other than themselves threatening to close the waterway.
Fadavi said that, “we guarantee the oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz on the condition that no military threat is issued against our country because Asia's southeastern countries direly need the region's oil.”
So far Israel has threatened to carry out military action against Iran, and the United States has not denied the possibility.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com