Revolutionary Guard Given Control of Persian Gulf
Iran has given control of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, IRGCN, from the traditional Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, IRIN. The Revolutionary Guard has become a politically-favored paramilitary organization that is starting to play larger roles in Iran’s political, economic, and military decisions.
The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence completed a study which outlines how the Revolutionary Guard Navy has acquired platforms to expand and develop current capabilities as well as secure advanced weaponry. The Revolutionary Guard Navy has the capability to effectively police the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz utilizing mobile, anti-ship cruise missiles and small, lightly armored vessels equipped with missiles and torpedoes. Additionally, a system of mines could be deployed in the Strait in a short amount of time. This has implications for a large portion of the world’s supply of oil and natural gas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately forty percent of all seaborne oil exports passed through the Strait.
Iran’s leaders have threatened that any military encroachment could result in the effective “closing” of the Strait and that the Gulf would be turned into a “sea of fire.” This development in naval restructuring occurred parallel to Iran announcing its plans to continue with uranium enrichment. Read more at The Washington Post.