Inside Story

Can Iran close the Strait of Hormuz?

Tehran threatens to shut off waterway to one of the world’s most important shipping channels.

The Strait of Hormuz is the only sea route in and out of the Gulf. Twenty percent of the world’s oil is carried through it by tankers.

Now, the US decision to impose further economic sanctions on Iran has prompted threats from Tehran to close this strategic waterway.

This week, Washington will end all waivers granted to eight countries, including China and India, that import Iranian oil.

The Trump administration says this is part of its “maximum pressure” campaign to stop Iran from destabilising the Middle East.

But what are the consequences of shutting the Strait of Hormuz, not just for Iran, but the region and global oil markets? 


Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Mohammad Eslami – political researcher and columnist

Manouchehr Takin – independent oil and energy consultant

Simon Mabon – senior lecturer in international studies at Lancaster University