Iran has announced military maneuvers in preparation for a possible closing the Straits of Hormuz.  One third of the world’s supply of crude oil delivered by sea must go through this narrow passage between Iran and The United Arab Republics, at the base of the Persian Gulf, before the ships can reach the open waters of the Arabian Sea.

The crippling effect of a disruption in shipments lasting more than 60 days could rival that of the oil embargo in 1973.  That embargo set up the serious recession of 1974.  Long lines formed at gas stations when they had a delivery as the fuel quickly sold out.  It was difficult to find any station at all that was open on a weekend.  Iran knows the value of a threat, particularly in light of the present fragility of the international economy.  What we have here is a prime example of why stability in the Mid-East is so vital.

Not to worry.  It’s only a threat, and I’m sure our President will ask Iran not to do it.

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