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  • The Security of the Strait of Hormuz
    Wed, 04 January 2012
    Randa Takieddine

    The challenges and threats being made by the Iranian regime against the entire world recall the stances taken by Saddam Hussein during several phases of his rule over Iraq. The Iranian regime is resorting to a kind of "muscle-flexing" in its military maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian Admiral Mahmoud Mousawi alluded to "a successful launch of medium-range ground-to-air missiles," which recalls the military parade Saddam Hussein organized, before representatives of the world's great powers, including the American ambassador and senior military officials from around the globe, a few months before he invaded Kuwait.

    That event was a result of the Iraqi president's megalomania, as if he could challenge the world and defeat its great powers. The end of both Saddam Hussein and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who were distinguished by being megalomaniacs, should be an example for this Iranian regime, which threatens the world with the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world's oil exports flow, including those of Iran, the second-biggest exporter in OPEC. Iran is thus threatening to choke its own people and deprive them of revenues that it is now using to develop a nuclear bomb and help its ally Syria repress its own people, just as it does with its own. Iran is rich in terms of its people, culture and long history, while the Iranian regime, just like that of Saddam Hussein, wastes the country's resources because of sanctions imposed on it due to its irrational policy of hegemony and threatening the world and its neighbors. Iran could be a huge exporter of natural gas to the world, but the foreign countries with expertise in developing the industry are forbidden to work in the country because of the Iranian regime's policies. The economic sanctions, meanwhile, are having a negative impact on the economy. Unemployment and a deterioration in economic conditions have impoverished a country that wasted its money on Hamas and Hezbollah and its Syrian ally, to maintain hegemony in the region and boost its control in Iraq, whose current prime minister is a close and loyal friend and ally of Iran and Syria.

    The threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is a dangerous verbal challenge that aims at increasing tension and destabilizing an important and vital region of the world. No one in the west of the east will permit such a thing. We have seen where megalomania took Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi, who both believed that everything was permitted to them.

    The Iranian regime should also examine the country's history. Not even the Shah, who was the friend of the world's great powers, whether the US or the Soviet Union, was unable to find a place to receive medical treatment after he was ousted by the Revolution. He also suffered from a kind of megalomania, as he would say that Iran had the world's fourth-most-powerful military. His end is also an example for every dictator who is blinded by vanity and megalomania. The current Iranian regime might be in the process of manufacturing a nuclear bomb, but domestically it relies on repression, and externally on a confrontation with the entire world. It extinguished the uprising that began after presidential elections were tampered with, but the fire of revolution has not been extinguished, because its people will re-awake. Closing the Strait of Hormuz is unlikely, because the Iranian regime knows that such an act would mean its end. Even though the scenario is unlikely, the world should make efforts to boost the security of the Strait of Hormuz, which is of course protected already. However, the world's navies, from the west and the Gulf, should tangibly increase their protection of this vital and strategic waterway, which represents the heart of the world economy, from east to west, to prevent any destabilization of its security.

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