Jan 07 2012
Partly as a result of U.S. pressure, a number of Asian countries have begun to attempt to reduce their dependence on Iranian oil. China, South Korea and Japan have all begun to take measures toward reducing their dependence on imports originating in Iran. Iran sees the threat to its oil industry as an economic war, and has threatened to close the straight of Hormuz, through which about 1/5 of the world’s oil passes on the way to market.
Should the United States be pressuring other countries to reduce their fossil fuel reliance on states that it sees as volatile or hostile? Would reductions from these Asian countries have a significant effect on Iranian oil revenue, or will flows simply shift to other countries? Can/will Iran close the strait of Hormuz, and if so, what would be an appropriate response?