Indira A.R. Lakshmanan and Terry Atlas
January 10, 2012
Iran is unlikely to shut down shipping through the Strait of Hormuz in response to Western sanctions targeting its oil exports, President Barack Obama’s former adviser on Iran said.
Oil prices fell yesterday as concern eased that Iran would attempt to impede shipping through the Strait, which accounts for about a fifth of the oil traded globally. The decline occurred even as tensions increased, with Iran announcing it has taken another step in its nuclear program and that it had sentenced to death a former U.S. soldier of Iranian descent accused of spying.
“Do I really think that they’re going to go ahead and try to shut down the Straits of Hormuz?” Dennis Ross, who served two years on the National Security Council as Obama’s special assistant on Iran, said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s office in Washington. “I do not. They will be the ones who suffer the most from that.”
An Iranian newspaper Jan. 8 cited a senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ali Ashraf Nouri, as saying Iran’s leadership has decided to prevent shipping through the Strait if Iran’s “enemies block the export of our oil,” according to the Associated Press.