In the following is our translation of an article from topcor.ru with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
The blockade of Hormuz: has Tehran prepared a "nuclear surprise" for the US?
June 20, 2019
The situation in the Middle East is quickly heating up. Unidentified persons, "who looked like IRGC fighters," were spotted by US intelligence removing mines mounted on a ship after a series of attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The Pentagon decided to send additional forces to the region. Then Washington significantly threatened a military strike on Iran if at least one American soldier who was that far from home suffered as a result of Tehran’s actions. Now it is reported that the Iranian air defence hit the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV or the MQ-4C Triton UAV.
The air clearly smells of impending war. Will the Islamic Republic withstand a massive strike by the United States and its allies?
We need to salute the Iranians, who are undaunted by a very serious threat. The Chief of the General Staff of the Republic said that in case of aggression Tehran would close off the oil transit through the Strait of Hormuz:
If we decide to block the passage through the straits, we are strong enough to do it, firstly, publicly, and secondly, to block it altogether.
The potential to block the strait is a weighty trump card for Iran. Most of the hydrocarbons produced by Middle Eastern monarchies go through Hormuz. The cessation of oil exports could lead to a global energy crisis. However, this would be the trigger for the start of a full-scale military operation by the United States and its allies against Iran.
Will Tehran hold out?
Technically, the blockade of the Strait can be carried out in several ways. In the narrowest part of Hormuz, Iranians are capable of sinking several large-capacity vessels. To prevent them from being raised, all approaches will be mined, and fire control will be established with the help of artillery and missile forces.
However, the United States has the most powerful army and navy in the world. Thanks to total air superiority, the US Air Force will smash the Iranian positions, the Navy will trawl the fairway and blow up the flooded ships. On the side of the US military will also act, most likely, Israel and the UK. Together, they are able to quickly "squeeze" Iran’s part of the coast.
So why is everything so calm in Tehran? Russian military expert Mikhail Khodarenok expresses an interesting proposition:
The situation, however, may look different if we imagine at least for a minute that Iran has at least tactical nuclear weapons.
Indeed, if Iran had tactical nuclear weapons, it could have aimed not only at the fairway of the Strait of Hormuz, having established a controlled nuclear minefield in advance, but also the US military infrastructure in the region. This is an extremely serious argument against armed aggression.
The key question is whether Tehran has its nuclear arsenal? Officially, no, and Washington is doing everything to keep it from being developed. Some time ago wesaid that there is a theory that Iran may already actually possess nuclear weapons. The fact is that Tehran worked extremely closely with Pyongyang on the missile program. Experts point out that the Iranian and North Korean missile programs complement each other in a surprising way: the DPRK relied on the ICBMs, and Iran - on medium and short-range missiles.
It can be assumed that this cooperation between the two “rogue states” was not limited, and Tehran may have received its own nuclear warheads developed for them within the framework of cooperation in North Korea. Otherwise it is quite difficult to explain the Iranian leadership’s confidence.
Author: Sergey Marzhetsky