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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Iran: Silkworm on the Hormuz

Reported here:
Iran's Mehr news agency reported that Shura Council national committee for security and foreign policy member Sulaiman Jaafar Zadeh said, 'If a ban is imposed on our oil exports, we will not allow oil tankers to sail in the Gulf waters.'

...At its narrowest point the Strait of Hormuz is only 21 miles wide, two 1-mile-wide channels for inbound and outbound tanker traffic, as well as a 2-mile-wide buffer zone. Iran has deployed Chinese HY-2 'Silkworm' anti-ship missiles along its Persian Gulf coast and its Abu Musa, Qeshm and Sirri islands. Over 14 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz each day.
There is an ominous precedent for the Iranian threat. During the 1980-1988 'tanker war,' between Iran and Iraq, there were 543 attacks on ships, with approximately 200 merchant sailors killed. More than 80 vessels were sunk or written off, causing more than $2 billion in losses and a 200 percent increase in global hull insurance rates. The U.S. State Department urged the government to re-flag 11 Kuwaiti oil tankers, which it did as well as providing naval escort through the Strait of Hormuz.
Any Iranian action to carry out its threat would undoubtedly involve the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, home-ported in Bahrain.
Silkworm range in the Hormuz map from here. Explained in comment #151 here:
The pink zone reflects the range of a silkworm missile. The pink bars left and right are the rough East & West limits, between which large tankers would be forced to travel 'under their guns'.


  1. Anonymous11:52 AM

    For the friends of Man...........d - maps/locations of the sites/movements of the silkworms available at the Farming site. Updated 10.01.2011.

  2. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Had the privilege to spend my navy time playing in the gulf and we even took a Chinese cargo ship that was bring in silkworms to Iran back in 1987/88 or so. The Iranians were using these little platforms that were made of steel pipe with sheet metal covering the exterior and placed them in shallow water where they would spot tankers, then transmit their location to the wormers. We destroyed several of the platforms, saw many worm launches and even felt the blast of a tanker being hit... Hey Iran, the youth of your country needs to step up and make some changes from within! your government sucks, remember, you are your own destiny, and only YOU can make the needed changes in your country! Look at the rest of the world and who is making the changes. They can kill a few, but when the many bind, it is the strength that can take and make a nation.