Iran nuclear crisis: Sanctions 'beginning to bite'
03-Jan-2012 (one comment)

The US has said threats by Iran to restrict Gulf shipping in the event of further sanctions shows international pressure is having an effect.

The State Department said sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme were starting to bite and that Iran was trying to create a distraction.

Iran has conducted 10 days of exercises near the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz, test-firing several missiles.

Its currency is at a record low, but it has denied sanctions are to blame.

The UN Security Council has already passed four rounds of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.

Highly enriched uranium can be processed into nuclear weapons, but Iran denies Western charges that it is trying to develop them.

Darius Kadivar

Sanctions Work !

by Darius Kadivar on

With the latest military exercises, Iran wanted to show it is a pretty powerful country and that sanctions won't get in the way of the military.

This is old-fashioned military strength - not a display of nuclear might.

Last week Iran's vice-president suggested that if the West tried to impose sanctions on Iran's oil industry, then Iran may shut the Strait of Hormuz - a narrow 34-mile-wide (54km) channel off Iran's southern coast through which about 20% of the world's traded oil passes. But Iran could not shut it on its own - the US Fifth Fleet is nearby in Bahrain and they wouldn't tolerate that.

And if Iran did try to do it, the country it would hurt most would be itself because Iran's government gets money and stays in power because of the sale of oil.