A former CIA analyst says the notion that stirring up hostilities towards Iran will make Israel more secure will prove to be “the big mistake of the century.”
“If this rhetoric spins out of control, if there are incidents in the Persian Gulf or the Strait of Hormuz that lead to wider hostilities, as night follows the day, this could spin not only into a regional war but even farther; and… of Israel, I fear, may cease to exist.”
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi warned on December 27 that imposing sanctions against the country’s energy sector will prompt Tehran to prevent oil cargoes from passing through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
“If they impose sanctions on Iran’s oil, not even a drop of oil will be allowed through the Strait of Hormuz,” he warned.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari also said on December 28 that Iran has complete command over the strategic waterway and that “closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces.”
On December 28, the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet responded by saying it would not “tolerate” any disruption in the Strait of Hormuz.
“[The fleet] maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities,” a spokesperson for the fleet said.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of sanctions as well as to call for an attack on the country.
Tehran , however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iranian officials have also promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.