Concerns are growing that Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz if the U.S. directly aids Israel in the war with Hamas or tightens sanctions on Iran. About a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Strait daily.
Iran International reported that parliamentarian Hassan Norouzi threatened that if the Hamas-Israel conflict worsens and the U.S. gets involved, Tehran might enter the war and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
“If America directly aids Israel in a war, we will close the Strait of Hormuz,” said Norouzi.
According to the International Energy Agency, an average of 20.5 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) passed through Hormuz between January-September 2023.
The Strait is 17.8 nautical miles (33km) wide at its narrowest point, with shipping lanes just two nautical miles wide (2,700m) in either direction.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, is tasked with protecting commercial shipping in the area.
OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran export most of their crude via the Strait.