What would it mean? Nothing good.
If Iran blocked the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. would take all necessary measures to prevent this.
These words were discussed in almost all the meetings that I had with politicians, journalists and ordinary people during my recent week-long visit to Jerusalem in the State of Israel.
We all were so impressed by the statements of State Department and Pentagon officials who seemed for a time to have forgotten about the Iranian threat but were now apparently waking up to what might happen if Iran blocks the Strait and finds a loophole in U.S. and E.U. sanctions.
There is a view that the Iranians themselves may refuse to supply petroleum and petroleum products to these countries. As you know, Ahmadinejad is preparing Iran for a long period of complete international isolation, if sanctions can be enforced against Iran. Also, Iranian authorities have established excellent relations with some countries in the Caucasus, and unfortunately one of them is my homeland Georgia, which has a general non-visa policy with Iran, not to mention close economic relations, which came about in recent years.
Iran will compete with Turkey, but they also have common interests and enemies in the form of the State of Israel and the Kurdish rebels, against whom the military in these countries conduct joint military operations.
In 2012, a new railway connection, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, was built between Azerbaijan and Turkey. It runs through Georgia, changing the strategic balance in the region, and you will agree with me that the new balance is not in favor of the U.S. and the EU. For those who do not know that, I can further inform you that Azerbaijan shares borders with Iran. The Ayatollahs have always had a plan to swallow Azerbaijan, as the population of that country is Shi’ite, although currently there is no active jihad movement there. In addition, a large percentage of Iran’s population is ethnic Azeris. As for Turkey, Erdogan with his anger at the West and program to destroy Turkish secularism is no less a threat than a terrorist and fanatic such as Ahmadinejad.
In addition, any increase in oil prices plays into the hands of jihadists and their financiers. They are very pleased to be investing more money in the business world in order to finance Jihad.
When I heard about the intentions of Ahmadinejad to block the Strait of Hormuz if the U.S. and E.U. imposed sanctions against Iran, I was reminded of a meeting I attended in Grozny, Chechnya, in June or July 1998. The vice-premier of the Chechen Republic, Turpal Ali Atgiriyev, and people who were unknown to me were talking about the road linking Tbilisi, Itumkale and Grozny. Some guests were talking in Arabic, others in the Turkish language. Since Atgiriyev did not understand these languages, the “‹”‹conversation was being translated into Russian.
I do not remember all the details, but I do remember one point. It was about the smuggling of goods produced in Islamic countries (Turkey, Iran, Saudi, Jordan, Pakistan) through Georgia to Chechnya, and from there to Russia and other European countries. I can only add that this road was funded by Osama bin Laden.
Despite the sanctions against Iran and its oil industry, Iran does not need to block the Strait of Hormuz. Presumably Ahmadinejad can simply raise the price of oil, bringing in extra dollars to sponsor Jihad. Europe cannot abandon oil. Iran always finds a loophole for the export of oil among friends and neighbors such as Russia, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
A major problem posed by Iran is its nuclear program, which is still ongoing and poses a real threat to us all. When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the Clinton administration recognized it. The Obama administration is making contact with the “Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt and recognizes the jihadists in Libya. Maybe they are waiting for the day when Iran finally creates a nuclear bomb to welcome Iran into the nuclear club. Israel is being advised to begin negotiations with those who want to wipe it off the face of the earth.