ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Effective Would Mining the Straits of Hormuz be for Iran?

Updated on March 13, 2012
This wargame simulation from, is the most accurate game on the types of encounters might happen there.
This wargame simulation from, is the most accurate game on the types of encounters might happen there.
Iranian midget sub
Iranian midget sub
End result
End result
Strait of Hormuz area
Strait of Hormuz area
Iran capability
Iran capability
Iran has many of the Chinese rocket EM-52 mine
Iran has many of the Chinese rocket EM-52 mine

In a word, very.

Sometimes in life, it is always the simpler things that actually cause the greatest chore or effort to deal with. Take, restoring an old car. A simple thing like maybe removing a key bolt or part becomes the greatest pain in the ass and consumes hours of time, when it should have taken not more than 30 minutes-why? Well, with old cars, it is usually rust.

The situation is the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is much like that. Iran does not even have to provoke the US with direct attacks with their swarming high speed boats armed with a few anti-ship missiles, or use their small anti-ship submarines, or their supersonic anti-missiles should Israel or US attack their nuclear weapon sites. All they need to do is use the passive approach to war with their 5000 mines.

Think of the scenario. The US has only a few ships actually there: CV Vinson, Cruiser Bunker-Hill, two nuclear attack subs, four minesweepers and patrol ships. That is it. If Iran were to mine the Straits (only a few miles wide) even before hostilities, this action would bait either country to take action against Iran. If nothing was done, Iran would continue mining this small passageway. If action was taken that spread to conflict, then, Iran has a real excuse to respond more so.

The sum of all this is that, unless the US ships retreated out of the Gulf and south of the Straits, they would be trapped by the mines. These mines range from those that float on the surface and those that sink and are detonated by sound or remotely. The latter are more sophisticated Russian and Chinese mines. The floater mines are quick to spread and flow with the tides and currents unless anchored. By themselves, they are enough to halt all ship movement through the Straits.

The worse part of this passive Iranian strategy is time. When Iran last mined the Straits in 1991 with only 1300 mines, it took a full year (yes, you heard me right) to clear it completely. Any transit during that time was at a snail's pace and dangerous for oil tankers.

Think of the impact if Iran used even only half now, 2500. Think of the impact if all 5000 were used! With only four minesweepers there, the process would be a very long, tedious one, assuming Iran does nothing more in the way of hostilities, which is doubtful. One can see Iran easily destroying the minesweepers with their anti-ship missiles, then, US retaliation, then Iran retaliates and so it goes. Meanwhile, no oil tankers would move oil through it, the price at the pump would easily hit $6-7 a gallon, this puts Obama in real jeopardy for re-election. Meanwhile, Iran continues fairly immune to attacks on their nuclear weapon sites.

Iran has many Chinese-built EM-52 mines, designed to wait on the bottom, listening for the distinctive magnetic or acoustic signature of a particular ship before launching a propelled 660-pound warhead at the target. Other Iranian mines have microcomputers that can sense a target approaching, identify the target, take countermeasures to avoid being detected (turning off) and then calculate the best moment to attack as it passes. While the stockpile numbers are much smaller, Iran has plenty of the floaters which cost about $1000-1500 to make.

With just the use of mines, Iran could cause the World major problems while avoiding real destruction or life. They could even heavily influence the US election.

I am surprised they have not yet done this. Go figure. Well, it might be themselves, you see, 90% of their imports and exports also arrive through this critical area..


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)