Ron Paul said speaking at an Iowa event last week that Iran would be justified in responding to U.S. sanctions by blocking the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
“I think we’re looking for trouble because we put these horrendous sanctions on Iran,” Paul told an audience at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa, according to Los Angeles Times.
Paul contends that the actions currently being taken by the United States against Iran are setting the stage for yet another Mideast conflict. If he were President, Paul said, he would not respond to Iran’s threat of closing the strait with military action, but would report to Congress who could declare war if they wished.
The Republican candidate said a blockade on the strait would be the most likely response to tighter sanctions because Iran has “no weapons of mass destruction” and shutting down the strait is “the most” it could do.
Iran’s top naval commander, Habibollah Sayyari, told the country’s state television last Wednesday that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be “easier than drinking a glass of water” for Iranian armed forces, but some U.S. analysts disagree.
According to CNBC, researchers familiar with the strait say that Iran’s navy does not have the size or resources to carry out a sustained blockade, but could cause problems with mines and missiles. The Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet is nearby and keeping a close eye on Iran’s activities and said last week that any disruption in the area “would not be tolerated.” Mine-laying or missile activity will likely generate a U.S. response.