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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Beyond the Headlines podcast: Why the Strait of Hormuz is so important

In this episode we speak to Clement Therme about the Strait of Hormuz

Shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. Reuters
Shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. Reuters

Maritime oil trade from the Arabian Peninsula relies exclusively on two strategic chokepoints: The Strait of Hormuz, to the UAE’s north, and Bab Al Mandeb to the south.

Despite efforts to diversify the GCC countries’ economy, oil trade remains a lifeline. More than a third of the world’s petroleum trade by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz. At its most narrow, The Strait of Hormuz is just 54 kilometres wide. It connects the Arabian Gulf to the Indian Ocean, separating the shores of Oman and Iran.

It’s one of the most strategically important waterways in the world. But with tensions between Iran and some of the GCC countries rising, the Strait of Hormuz might also be the GCC’s biggest strategic vulnerability. Listen here:

This week, we spoke to Clement Therme, who is a research fellow for Iran at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He’s based in Bahrain where he helps analyse Iran’s political trajectory.

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