Foreign Policy Watch: India-Iran

Places in news: Strait of Hormuz


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Strait of Hormuz

Mains level: Global strategic flashpoints

A US Navy warship fired a warning flare to wave off an Iranian speedboat coming straight at it during a tense encounter in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Why in news?

  • The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway in the Middle East marks the most sensitive transportation choke point for global oil supplies.

Strait of Hormuz

  • The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow channel, approximately 30 miles wide at the narrowest point, between the Omani Musandam Peninsula and Iran.
  • It connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.
  • The Strait is deep and relatively free of maritime hazards.
  • Its depth is greatest near the Musandam Peninsula and tapers as you move north toward the Iranian shore.

Why is it important?

  • Oil tankers carrying crude from ports on the Persian Gulf must pass through the strait.
  • Around 21 million barrels of oil a day flowed through it in 2018, equivalent to roughly a third of global seaborne oil trade and about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption.


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