Recently the atmosphere of international politics is escalating. On December 27, 2011 the Government of Iran issued a threat to shut down all sea accesses in the Strait of Hormuz. The threat will be put into action if the international sanctions to embargo Iran's oil exports are actually enacted. According to an expert in Middle East Studies and foreign policy, Dr. Siti Muti'ah Setiawati, M.A, the threat to shut down Strait of Hormuz is Iran's defensive strategy in the face of considerable pressures from Western countries, one of which is the U.S. trying to undermine Iran's nuclear program plan.
The U.S. believes Iran is developing a nuclear program for weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Iran rejects the notion by saying that the nuclear program was developed for peaceful purposes. "The Iran’s threat to shut down the Strait of Hormuz is a provocation because it always feels cornered related to the development of its nuclear program," said researcher of Institute of International Studies (IIS) in UGM Department of International Relations, Monday (16/1) at the Faculty.
The Strait of Hormuz is a vital shipping course for crude oil from the Middle East to the entire world. Nearly a third of world oil supplies are transported by sea through the Strait. The closure of these routes will have serious consequences for the world economy. "If Iran would really close this strait, the world economy will be disrupted because such condition will reduce the supply of crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas," said Siti.
Siti said that if the threat is executed, it is possible that war between Iran and the U.S. will break out. The U.S. will attempt to secure world oil shipment route. "If a war breaks out, I think Iran can withstand the U.S. attack because Iran is a very independent country with a very well-established economy," she said.
Siti added that Indonesia as a country partner of Iran in terms of exports and imports of crude oil will certainly be affected if the war breaks out. "If the war does break out, our oil import-export activities with Iran will also be hampered," she explained.