The Persian gulf joins the Arabian Sea through a narrow outlet called the Strait of Hormuz. This strait was not much in the news earlier, but now its importance has increased manifold with the ongoing war games by Iran. The strait of Hormuz at its narrowest is only about 18 miles wide. Anybody who hold this strait will be ina position to choke the supply of oil to the entire world.
The Strait of Hormuz has great strategic importance. Almost 15-20 oil tankers ply through this strait every day carrying millions of dollars worth of oil. Thus any power that can sink a tanker or two in this strait can literally bottle up the entire tanker fleet and starve the world of oil.
We are aware that as per latest reports Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. This is unacceptable to the USA and Israel who feel threatened by Iran having nuclear weapons.. Iran in reply is doing plenty of saber rattling and has also carried out a naval exercise in the straight of Hormuz. Alive to the situation, the USA has a carrier task force also deployed in the region. They have a one point agenda to keep Iran from choking the supply of oil . The Iranians have indicated that this is what they will do , once hostilities start. For this the IRAN NAVY has 3 submarines and motor torpedo boats. The force per se is small, but in addition the Iranians have missiles and batteries covering the strait and as per them they will fire then and stop the flow of oil.
The entire scenario is complicated as the USA and its allies have delayed taking action against Iran. Thus as when the hostilities brake out, the Iranians will try and choke the Strait. But in case the USA plays its cards well , then there is every chance that the USA will be the winner. Lets face it , the USA cannot allow the strait of Hormuz to be closed. the battle lines are thus drawn and the strait of Hormuz could be a real flash point in 2012. I have also no doubt that the Iranians will get a bloody nose.
The likely scenario of the conflict is likely to be a call by the USA to stop all tanker traffic through the strait and then mount an attack with the latest weapons on the coastal batteries and the Submarines. Iran better beware !