2013, Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 323-348
The Geographical location is considered one of the most important factors affecting the Iranian's foreign policy. Iran has many borders. One of these is its maritime borders on the Gulf, especially its location on the Strait of Hormuz. It is the most important corner stone that Iran wants to exploit geopolitically in its regional and international relations, especially when it has a problem with the West. We can draw more attention to the importance of this Geographical reality when we take into consideration that 40% of the oil exported from the Middle East region is transported by ships through this strait to the oil markets. This confirms this vital importance of this strait in the International Relations.
For more conforming on this importance, we would like to refer to some of what has written about it. Some of top American officials said "This strait is the bottleneck to the Gulf ". In this regard, many studies have confirmed that this region has the biggest oil reserves in the world. In addition , this great amount of oil should transported through this strait as it is the shortest maritime way on which it can be depended in this matter comparing to the other straits.
Now days, the International Relations has witnessed a great tension in this part of the world as a result to the crisis of Iranian Nuclear project. This has led to put this strait in the heart of this matter. Iran, from its side, threats that it will block it at any time that it wants, especially if it is targeted military and economically or if the west impose oil embargo against it. This, for sure, will lead to more tensions in this region, if there are any developments concerning this strait.
In such an expected scenario, related to the blocking of this strait by the Iranian forces, the Western side will do all its efforts to counter the Iranian step. For this reason the USA ministry of defense said "The USA will react violently, if Iran really wants to block this strategic strait to the oil transportation. It is a red line that must not be transgressed". While Iran threatened that it would not give the others the chance to transport oil through this strait in case of imposing the economic and oil embargo on it as the west wants to do.
In light of what has been said above, we would like to refer to the basic questions on which we focused in this research which are: how we look at the Strait of Hormuz geopolitically? What is its importance? How do the great and regional powers look at it in light of the changing Political Geography in the Middle East? Will this strait be blocked in the future? If it happened, how could it affect the Arab states in the Gulf? Could these states fine some other alternatives to transport their oil fortune? And what about our country, Iraq, in all this matter? Is it possible to transform this case to be a good chance to Iraq for being invested diplomatically to do more developments in its regional relations with the neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia?
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