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Daily Israel Report

Iran Prepared to Block Gulf Oil and Wreck Western Economies

Iran’s war games concentrated on preparations to block the Persian Gulf and wreck Western economies in the event of harsh UN sanctions.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/17/2010, 4:21 PM / Last Update: 5/17/2010, 4:42 PM

US government

Iran’s recently-concluded war games concentrated on preparations to block the Persian Gulf and wreck Western economies in the event that the United Nations Security Council tries to place harsh sanctions against it.

Forty percent of the world’s oil and gas sails through the Persian Gulf, and an Iranian blockade would cause an inflationary spike in energy prices and a fuel shortage that could cause catastrophe for the West, which is dependent on Iranian crude to fuel their gas-hungry economies.

Public affairs consultant Lenny Ben-David, a former senior Israeli diplomat in Israel’s embassy in Washington, pointed out on Cutting Edge.com Monday that the Islamic Republic stopped, searched or photographed several Western ships durng the eight-day war games.

The Revolutionary Navy searched a French and an Italian vessel for "environmental" checks, buzzed the U.S. Eisenhower in what American officials called a “close encounter,” and patrolled the Gulf, also known as the Straits of Hormuz, stopping and checking destroyers and cargo ships.

The Iranian Air Force also drove away a U.S. reconnaissance drone that was monitoring Iran's massive Gulf military exercises that concluded last Thursday.

During and after the war games, Tehran issued daily press releases boasting of new and advanced speed boats, an anti-submarine torpedo and advanced arms for attacking ships.

Ben-David noted, “While the press focuses on the Iranian military exercises, uranium enrichment, and long-range missile development, the navies of dozens of countries have been relatively quietly gravitating toward the Persian Gulf. “

The war games exercises in the Gulf sent a clear signal to the West regarding what may be in store if it succeeds in placing tough sanctions against Iran as a way to try to force it to comply with international rules on the development of its nuclear program.

Iran’s government and semi-official media reported that the Revolutionary Guards tested a new speedboat that can destroy enemy ships, sending a pointed reminder that it is capable of blocking the Gulf. Iran also successfully fired an anti-submarine torpedo durng the war games, Iran's Press TV reported. “The submarines had managed to enter the waters of the hypothetical enemy and pass the enemy's linking lines,” it stated.  

Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the war games aimed to demonstrate that Iran has full control over shipping activities in the Gulf area.

Armed Forces Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi announced Tuesday that two medium-range cruise missiles were launched from Iran’s southern coast and hit mock targets that were moving on the sea. Iranian news agencies said the missile also can evade radar systems because it flies at a low altitude.

"It's past the epoch when America would change the regime in a country by just dispatching a warship,” Salehi added. “We have been able to challenge the U.S. not only in the sea but also in all international arenas.”  

Israel Aerospace Industries chairman Yair Shamir commented that the cruise missile “is an extremely serious danger." He noted that the missile was supplied by Ukraine before being upgraded in Iran.

The Air Force also claimed successes. Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Air Force for Operations General Seyed Mohammad Alawi told Fars News Agency that Phantom warplanes fired new missiles that hit and destroyed their targets.