It is looking more and more that Israel is going to attack Iran very soon. Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from around the globe are converging on the Strait of Hormuz to conduct war exercises for 12 days because Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait in retaliation for an Israeli strike. Warships from more than 25 countries are participating, including the United states, France, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Theses are the largest war games ever operated in the area.
18 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz every day, which amounts to 35% of the world’s oil that travels by sea. Iran is believed to intend mining or blockading the Strait if they are attacked. If there were a blockade, the economies of Britain, continental Europe and the United States would be severely affected.
The multi-national naval force includes three US Nimitz class carrier groups, each supported by more than a dozen battleships, which include ballistic missile cruisers, frigates, destroyers and assault ships carrying thousand of US Marines and special forces.
Great Britain has supplied four British minesweepers and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay, a logistics vessel, as well as the new HMS Diamond, a £1billion Type 45 destroyer.
Iran’s opposition will be headed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy, which is not considered as technologically sophisticated, but is capable of hitting ships by using mini-subs, fast attack boats, mines and shore-based anti-ship missile batteries.
Iran has been planning war exercises of their own next month using surface-to-air missiles, unmanned drones and state-of-the-art radar.
While the West operates their war games in the Gulf, the British Response Task Forces Group will be conducting a naval exercise in the eastern Mediterranean, close enough to help in the Gulf as needed.
It is not only Israel that claims the Iranians are close to nuclear weaponry. The head of MI6 recently stated that Iran will have the weapons by 2014. The Strait of Hormuz has been a subject of contentious debate for years, as the Iranians have claimed control of the Strait and the entire Persian Gulf.