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New report: Rouhani's saber rattling and Hormuz amid Iran protests

Screenshot of Iranian protests in June, 2018

A new article by Alex Grinberg looks at the recent Iran protests and Rouhani's threats about the Straits of Hormuz. He writes, "so is Rouhani unsheathing Iran’s strategic sword?  No. Rather, his statements are almost certainly a bluff. Najafi Tehrani, a political and cultural analyst tweeted that the threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is the kind of bluff that never came true even during the Iran-Iraq war.  Both the protests in Khorremshahr and Rouhani’s statement evoke associations with the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran  never closed the Straits of Hormuz even during the war against Iraq, namely in the course of the “tanker war” in the Gulf since 1984. Iraqis attacked Iranian oil tankers, possibly hoping to provoke Iranians to block the straits as retaliation, however the Iranian retaliatory measures were confined to attacks against Iraqi ships. Moreover, In April 1988 the US navy launched the Praying Mantis operations in the course of which several Iranian vessels were sunk. The operation was a retaliation after the USS Samuel B. Roberts was hit by an Iranian sea mine."

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