Despite stalled talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations over the largely lapsed nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran still holds the keys to global procurement in oil and gas. Tension between Iran and the United States hit a new low after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, meaning an energy war could be used as leverage by a Tehran eager to get out of tough economic sanctions.
According to an analyst, Iran could use its geographical position in the Persian Gulf to its advantage.
Catherine Shakdam, political risk analyst for Wikistrat – a geo-strategic analysis company – and commentator for the Middle East said: “Before the threat of nuclear war, many experts have already argued that the principle of mutual destruction would delay even the greatest ardor – thus making the possibility of open conflict impossible.
“It offers little respite from the blackmail Iran may soon decide to unleash against us, in a way not unlike Russia’s gamble – economic strangulation through an energy crisis.
The expert also expressed concern about the importance of the Strait of Hormuz and the key role it plays in global energy supply.
She continued: “Master sitting on the bottlenecks of global oil transit, Iran’s de facto control over the Strait of Hormuz and as well as Bab al-Mandab by virtue of its alliance with the Houthis in Yemen, offers Iran significant leverage.
“For decades, Iran has threatened, if pushed, to impede naval traffic and disrupt global energy markets.
“And while such threats have rung hollow for the most part because they would run counter to the immediate interests of the Islamic Republic, notwithstanding those of China, its most powerful economic partner, recent developments have rendered such a narrative without object.”
Speaking of the solution, Ms Shakdam, writing in ‘International Policy Digest’, concluded by saying: “The world cannot stand further disruptions in energy markets – not when Russia is a thorn in our side, without hope for alternative by way of a plug-in.
“War would be a matter of absolute necessity – with all the violence and destruction that would entail.
“The hope lies in our ability to force the Iranian government to retreat by cutting its folds and isolating its leaders from its ideological network.”
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