Iran’s saber-rattling in the Strait of Hormuz is getting a lot of international attention. If the Iranian navy does block the crucial waterway for oil transportation, it would likely provoke a war, according to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer.
On Thursday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Krauthammer acknowledged the logic of military exercises by Iran — to avoid pending sanctions against its central bank — but said it was a flawed strategy.
“Iran could be making a huge mistake here, because if the bluff is called, if it actually interrupts the shipping in the Strait of Hormuz — the United States Navy will respond,” Krauthammer said. “It will re-open the strait, and it could destroy the Iranian navy.”
The United States might also retaliate by striking targets inside Iran, said Krauthammer.
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“It would effectively start a war,” he said. “If the Iranians block an international strait, that is a breach of the most elementary rules of international law. It is an act of war and if America re-opens the strait and the Iranian navy attacks America, that’s essentially a declaration of war on us. And then the idea, the notion of declaring war is moot.”
Krauthammer then compared moves by Iran to Iraq under Saddam Hussein, suggesting that shutting the strait could doom Iran’s nuclear program.
“Saddam in 1991 was a year or two away from acquiring nuclear weapons and he made a mistake of starting a war in Kuwait,” he noted. “As a result, he never achieved that. If he waited two years he would have been nuclear. The Iranians are close. If they provoke a war here, they can be de-nuclearized and lose their entire strategic objective of being the hegemonic element in the region.”