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Ironduke
28 Oct 08,, 17:48
Iran 'opens naval base' near Gulf

Iran has opened new naval facilities east of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow entrance to the Gulf which is key to oil supplies, state media say.

Naval chief Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying the base in the town of Jask would enable Iran to block the entry of an "enemy" into the Gulf.

Iran has threatened to close the strait in response to a potential military strike over its nuclear activities.

It denies claims by Western powers that it is seeking a nuclear bomb.

Key 'chokepoint'

"We are creating a new defence front in the region, thinking of a non-regional enemy," Adm Sayyari told state run Iranian radio.

"In this region we are capable of preventing the entry of any kind of enemy into the strategic Persian Gulf if need be," he said.

The Strait of Hormuz is "by far the world's most important chokepoint," according to the US government's Energy Information Administration.

About 20% of oil traded worldwide passes through the narrow waterway, the body says.

There has been speculation that the US or Israel might stage a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, in response to Iran's refusal to halt the enrichment of uranium, a process which can be used to make fuel for nuclear bombs.

Tensions remain high, although many analysts believe an attack has become less likely in recent months.

The base is in the port town of Jask, about 1,050 miles (1,700 kilometres) south of Tehran.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7694947.stm

Dreadnought
28 Oct 08,, 19:12
Foolish to think they can block the Straight. They must have some naval vessels they wont be needing ever again.;)

Close the Straight? Close it with what?

Shamus
28 Oct 08,, 19:20
Foolish to think they can block the Straight. They must have some naval vessels they wont be needing ever again.;)

Close the Straight? Close it with what?A bog-hammer blockade of course;):biggrin:.

Ironduke
28 Oct 08,, 19:42
Foolish to think they can block the Straight. They must have some naval vessels they wont be needing ever again.;)

Close the Straight? Close it with what?
Indeed, laughable to think they can blockade access with naval vessels, they'd be a sitting duck.

But they could mine it enough to cause a massive spike in the price of oil lasting, at most, a few months.

Here's an academic article on the subject I found interesting:

Dreadnought
28 Oct 08,, 20:13
Indeed, laughable to think they can blockade access with naval vessels, they'd be a sitting duck.

But they could mine it enough to cause a massive spike in the price of oil lasting, at most, a few months.

Here's an academic article on the subject I found interesting:

Correct Duke,
However, with todays newer minesweeping technology the sweeping would much much more effecient and much faster.
Plus, there are several countries whose oil imports pass through the Straight and IMO Iran wouldnt be able to weather them all. Plus, if they were to mine then so could the US and prevent Iran herself from importing her refined fuels. Tit for Tat if you would. Then the question becomes who can hold out longer. You have a US president on his way out but you also have a sitting Iranian president who seeks to keep his place.;)

Opps left one one MAJOR factor, the Fifth Fleet lying close by.;)

Ironduke
28 Oct 08,, 22:33
Correct Duke,
However, with todays newer minesweeping technology the sweeping would much much more effecient and much faster.
Plus, there are several countries whose oil imports pass through the Straight and IMO Iran wouldnt be able to weather them all. Plus, if they were to mine then so could the US and prevent Iran herself from importing her refined fuels. Tit for Tat if you would. Then the question becomes who can hold out longer. You have a US president on his way out but you also have a sitting Iranian president who seeks to keep his place.;)

Opps left one one MAJOR factor, the Fifth Fleet lying close by.;)
This corroborates your point:

Historically, Iran has recognized that closing the strait would be the military equivalent of cutting off its nose to spite its face. Not only would such a move deprive Iran of vital oil revenue, but it also would invite international intervention.
But:

If the United States or Israel attacked Iran, the restraint that previously characterized Iranian behavior in the strait might evaporate. Indeed, in 2006 Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cautioned that although Iran would not be “the initiator of war,” if the United States punished or attacked Iran, then “definitely the shipment of energy from this region will be seriously jeopardized.” 22 The Iranian oil minister made similar comments, hinting that “if the country’s interests are attacked, we will use all our capabilities, and oil is one of them.”23
Minesweeping is a long and arduous process regardless. It's also important to keep in mind that Iran isn't always a rational actor, as shown in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

Points from the article:

In particular, Iran possesses a larger stockpile of missiles and mines ten times as powerful as those used in the tanker wars of the 1980s, the last period of sustained naval conflict in the gulf. If Iran managed to lay even a relatively small number of these mines in the strait, the United States certainly would act to clear the area. But the experience of past mine-warfare campaigns suggests that it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned.

Nevertheless, even small numbers of mines have been able to halt surface traffic when their presence was known. In 1972 the United States immediately stopped all traffic in and out of North Vietnam’s Haiphong Harbor with an initial drop of only 36 acoustic-magnetic mines. In 1991 the Iraqis were able to discourage a U.S. amphibious invasion by laying only 1,000 mines off the Kuwaiti coast, 2 of which later hit but did not sink U.S. warships.36 In 1950 the North Koreans delayed the U.S. landing at Wonsan by laying only 3,000 mines across 50 square miles. As these examples show, mines derive much of their power from the
The potential for relatively small-scale minelaying operations to seriously disrupt the flow of oil and send energy prices skyrocketing is there, even if Iran lacks the capacity with which to blockade the strait.

The general point is that it does not require great imagination to think Iran could lay several hundred mines in the gulf. If the above conditions prevailed, for example, Iran could lay a total of 693 mines. This is not an especially large number, but in such a contained area with such heavy commercial traffic, it would not take long for a tanker to encounter a mine. The effects of the MDM-6 mine on a tanker are unknown, but given that these mines have both more sophisticated detonation mechanisms and ten times the charge of the mines that hobbled tankers in the 1980s, the threat to tanker traffic cannot be dismissed easily. If shipping companies—and their insurers believed that large swaths of the channels and surrounding areas were definitely mined, and in some places with mines ten times as powerful as what was seen in the tankers wars, they likely would halt or reduce shipping.

TopHatter
29 Oct 08,, 03:53
Indeed, laughable to think they can blockade access with naval vessels, they'd be a sitting duck.

But they could mine it enough to cause a massive spike in the price of oil lasting, at most, a few months.

Here's an academic article on the subject I found interesting:

That would be their only hope, because that base might as well translate to "big freakin' target for cruise missiles".

And as you said, they'd be cutting off their noses to spite their (admittedly irrational) faces.

Officer of Engineers
29 Oct 08,, 04:05
The potential for relatively small-scale minelaying operations to seriously disrupt the flow of oil and send energy prices skyrocketing is there, even if Iran lacks the capacity with which to blockade the strait.It's only fear. Within 24 hours, we can clear a path through any minefield. There will be bottlenecks but the ships will get through unscathed. Within 30 days, we would have cleared the field.

Ironduke
29 Oct 08,, 07:22
It's only fear. Within 24 hours, we can clear a path through any minefield. There will be bottlenecks but the ships will get through unscathed. Within 30 days, we would have cleared the field.
I think that fear alone is still enough to cause a large spike in the price of oil over the course of a month or two. I suppose the US has contingencies on hand now, given the past.

ozjohn39
29 Oct 08,, 10:27
Iran closing the Straits of Hormuz?

I am certain GWB is PRAYING for such a scenario!


John.

Dreadnought
29 Oct 08,, 14:00
I think that fear alone is still enough to cause a large spike in the price of oil over the course of a month or two. I suppose the US has contingencies on hand now, given the past.

Yes they do, However Iran herself would be choked off from her refined fuels being able to enter her ports. Iran, Russia and Venezuala are all screaming right now at OPEC (minus Russia since she dont belong) Chavez has already announced his intentions to up the price of oil to save his sliding economy. Perhaps maybe he and Iran should have thought about this before they wanted all these expensive Russian arms to ward off the great satan.With the US seeking drilling off her own shores and the flexability of the US peoples fuel saving abilities will surely not help their current situation and thus put out another fire before it starts or at minimum prolong their sliding economies.

Ray
29 Oct 08,, 17:08
They can sink old tubs and that will be what they can alone do!

Will be effective. Maybe some naval officers can correct me since I have no idea of the depth etc.

Dreadnought
29 Oct 08,, 18:05
They can sink old tubs and that will be what they can alone do!

Will be effective. Maybe some naval officers can correct me since I have no idea of the depth etc.

Sir, But to do that in international waters (beyond Irans 12 mile limit) could easily be construed as an open act of war against the international communities economy. And the powers that be may choose the military option this time instead of the sanctions as the last few times . I dont think Iran wants those troubles especially when she can be denied her refined imports as well (And her nuclear program if those powers wish to do so in one fail swoop). As mentioned before in this thread you have a US president on his final days in office and you have an Iranian president that wishes to be re-elected. "W" has zero to loose however Achmadinajad has plenty to loose.

Johnny W
30 Oct 08,, 20:18
Iran closing the Straits of Hormuz?

I am certain GWB is PRAYING for such a scenario!


John.



I think John Mccain would like such a scenario more.

Rodinga
30 Oct 08,, 23:54
I think John Mccain would like such a scenario more.

probably true
but back to iran

The mere thought of a single mine hitting a stocked oil tanker and creating its own spot of hell would be enough to stop oil supply passing through the strait.
Although these mines could be cleared within 24 hours the thought will still stop tankers until every inch is swept which could take days.

anyway how would you know mines are deployed unless Iran announces it? seeing a tanker go in millions of dollars worth of fire ball will be a massive deterrent to commercial traffic.

Traxus
01 Nov 08,, 23:10
probably true
but back to iran

The mere thought of a single mine hitting a stocked oil tanker and creating its own spot of hell would be enough to stop oil supply passing through the strait.
Although these mines could be cleared within 24 hours the thought will still stop tankers until every inch is swept which could take days.

anyway how would you know mines are deployed unless Iran announces it? seeing a tanker go in millions of dollars worth of fire ball will be a massive deterrent to commercial traffic.

Especially since Iran can deploy its mines using land based rockets and their 3 subs. Its not like Iran will use all its mines at the start, and everything will be free and clear after that. Iran would do its darndest to make the Straight a dangerous place, and it would certainly be enough to dissuade a lot of shipping traffic.

Officer of Engineers
02 Nov 08,, 01:19
Especially since Iran can deploy its mines using land based rocketsTechnically not possible.


and their 3 subs.Assuming that they are allowed to leave port.


Its not like Iran will use all its mines at the start, and everything will be free and clear after that.Once the Iranian navy is sunk ... again, then what?


Iran would do its darndest to make the Straight a dangerous place, and it would certainly be enough to dissuade a lot of shipping traffic.Within 24 hours, ships would be moving. Within 30 days, things would be back to normal.

Officer of Engineers
02 Nov 08,, 01:21
The mere thought of a single mine hitting a stocked oil tanker and creating its own spot of hell would be enough to stop oil supply passing through the strait.So follow a minesweaper.


Although these mines could be cleared within 24 hours the thought will still stop tankers until every inch is swept which could take days.When you see naval vessels crossing without fear, then what is to be afraid of.


anyway how would you know mines are deployed unless Iran announces it? seeing a tanker go in millions of dollars worth of fire ball will be a massive deterrent to commercial traffic.We're watching them extremely closely. We're not going to allow them to start another Tanker War.

Traxus
02 Nov 08,, 20:27
Technically not possible.


It isn't possible to launch mines via rocket?

zraver
02 Nov 08,, 20:36
The mere thought of a single mine hitting a stocked oil tanker and creating its own spot of hell would be enough to stop oil supply passing through the strait.

No it won't, it might raise insuracne rates, but unless the mine is very lucky it won't sink a tanker.




Although these mines could be cleared within 24 hours the thought will still stop tankers until every inch is swept which could take days.

No, every ship captain has his price. pay enough and a captain will do it. Two world wars proved the merchant marine will sail into Hell itself and deliver the goods.


anyway how would you know mines are deployed unless Iran announces it? seeing a tanker go in millions of dollars worth of fire ball will be a massive deterrent to commercial traffic.

Becuase Iran would announce it. The announcement is as a good a real feild for the first 24 hours. You don't want a loaded tanker or LNG carrier stumbling into a field unless you want war. A mine won't sink a tanker, but it can cause a great deal of environmental damage to Iran if the mine knocks out steering/control and the tanker hits Iran's coast.

Zemco
02 Nov 08,, 21:47
It isn't possible to launch mines via rocket?

Yes, but what would be the point?

You're viewing Iran through the eyes of 1980, not 2008. The vast majority of Iran's oil goes through the Straits, so they'd be slitting their own throat economically.

Traxus
03 Nov 08,, 01:18
Yes, but what would be the point?

You're viewing Iran through the eyes of 1980, not 2008. The vast majority of Iran's oil goes through the Straits, so they'd be slitting their own throat economically.

I think we're talking about if Iran and the US somehow got into a conflict. How it could happen is anyones guess, but Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Straight should the US attack them. We might as well discuss to see how possible that is.

Officer of Engineers
03 Nov 08,, 01:30
It isn't possible to launch mines via rocket?Not sea mines. First of all, you're talking 500lbs of HE which effectively render it one mine per rocket. 2nd, you're talking about impact into water which is one hell of a jolt which effectively means that all contact mines are out of the picture. That leaves pressure, magnetic, and accoustic. Now, assuming that the electronics can survive the impact, the mine itself has to be properly laid and cannot be on its side or in a ditch.

Consider also, that the land based air delivery mines (which has nothing even close to the speeds you're talking about here) have an 80% failure rate but the sheer number of air delivered land mines would at least slow the opponent down as he cannot be sure which mines are still active.

Translate this to one single mine. That means that you're one sea mine already have an 80% chance of not working even before it left the ground.

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 14:52
It isn't possible to launch mines via rocket?

It would be picked up on radar if it actaully got off the ground from not very far away and if you think the Fifth Fleet will stand by and allow them to mine the passage you are fooling yourself. Mining using rockets? I definately imagine a very large failure rate if they even posses the technology to do so which IMO is doubtfull.

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 14:53
No, every ship captain has his price. pay enough and a captain will do it. Two world wars proved the merchant marine will sail into Hell itself and deliver the goods.



Boy did they ever between the Merchant Marines, The Liberty Ships and the USN Armed Gaurd.;)

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 14:56
I think we're talking about if Iran and the US somehow got into a conflict. How it could happen is anyones guess, but Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Straight should the US attack them. We might as well discuss to see how possible that is.

Its not but for a few hours at maximum. Discussing it is a waste of time and Iran knows full well that she couln't attempt it without suffering major losses. And these losses she would suffer would physically cripple her economics. And then the US is on her perverbial doorstep and she not going to knock.

aktarian
05 Nov 08,, 16:13
Yes they do, However Iran herself would be choked off from her refined fuels being able to enter her ports. Iran, Russia and Venezuala are all screaming right now at OPEC (minus Russia since she dont belong) Chavez has already announced his intentions to up the price of oil to save his sliding economy. Perhaps maybe he and Iran should have thought about this before they wanted all these expensive Russian arms to ward off the great satan.With the US seeking drilling off her own shores and the flexability of the US peoples fuel saving abilities will surely not help their current situation and thus put out another fire before it starts or at minimum prolong their sliding economies.

you have cause and effect wrong. You think Iran will mine the straits before hostilities break out thus inviting retaliation. However it seems that they are planning to do this after hostilities break out. so cutting their oil exports is a moot point as it will be targeted anyway and this is just going down and taking others for the ride as well

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 16:27
you have cause and effect wrong. You think Iran will mine the straits before hostilities break out thus inviting retaliation. However it seems that they are planning to do this after hostilities break out. so cutting their oil exports is a moot point as it will be targeted anyway and this is just going down and taking others for the ride as well

*You leave out one key factor:

Not only would Iran loose her import/export ability and control of her side of the Straights but keep in mind this: Why attack Iran until she attempts to block the Straight when you can attack her after this and remove the nuclear card as well in one fail swoop.Thus meaning effect after cause.;)

aktarian
05 Nov 08,, 17:08
*You leave out one key factor:

Not only would Iran loose her import/export ability and control of her side of the Straights but keep in mind this: Why attack Iran until she attempts to block the Straight when you can attack her after this and remove the nuclear card as well in one fail swoop.Thus meaning effect after cause.;)

but why would Iran mine the straits before being attacked and thus invite response, including attacks on their nuclear facilities? ;)

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 18:02
but why would Iran mine the straits before being attacked and thus invite response, including attacks on their nuclear facilities? ;)

Ask yourself why Iran does all the sabre rattling. FEAR ;)

aktarian
05 Nov 08,, 18:22
Ask yourself why Iran does all the sabre rattling. FEAR ;)

there is a difference between sabre rattling and actual charge with said sabre. ;)

Officer of Engineers
05 Nov 08,, 18:33
but why would Iran mine the straits before being attacked and thus invite response, including attacks on their nuclear facilities? ;)Because that's the only chance they'll get. Think about it. What happens to the ports once war starts?

Dreadnought
05 Nov 08,, 18:35
there is a difference between sabre rattling and actual charge with said sabre. ;)

And Iran dont want to tempt the hand of fate. We well know about their actions in Iraq and their support by the Quods and others. Although not widely reported they know we have them if we want them and provoking the US will only spell disaster for them no matter the rattling nor how big their "sabre" actaully is. Its a loosing proposition that Achmadinajad wont accept while he's strugling to maintain power with his own people. His people dont want war they want their economy to move.;)