The Rand Corporation in a commentary wrote blocking the strategic waterway, through which 90 percent of Persian Gulf oil flows to the outside world, would have sweeping implications for regional security and global oil markets.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has developed sufficient military capabilities.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy may be able to inflict damage on US forces. It operates hundreds of small and relatively fast attack boats, some armed with sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles.
Iran could also fire missiles at US warships from its 1000 mile-long coastline. An even more controversial Iranian move would be scattering mines either near the Strait or in the Persian Gulf, which could slow or stop shipping as the US Navy tried to clear the waterway.
Iran might instead seek to repeat the strategy used by Hezbollah in the 2006 war with Israel-holding ground by bleeding the adversary. It may hope to emerge as the political and psychological victor by hitting a few US warships, perhaps even a carrier, causing high oil prices, and increasing international pressure-all tactics designed to force the United States to stop its strikes.
Just by threatening to close the Strait, Iran increases pressure on the United States to restrain Israel from attacking Iran. Other key players-including major oil importers such as China, Japan, and India-would be reluctant to support military action because of heavy dependence on Persian Gulf oil.