Oxford Analytica, una delle principali società di consulenza ed analisi strategica a livello internazionale, ha esaminato le recenti minaccie iraniane nel corso di un’apposita conference call nella quale sono statie analizzate le probabilità di un conflitto, gli ipotetici scenari e le possibili conseguenze per gli attori nonchè l’impatto sull’Iran delle sanzioni economiche. Il summary è pubblico.
Secondo gli esperti di OxAn “The situation can be characterised as one of sustained volatility and persistent tensions. However, neither side believes their interests would be served by conflict at present. The outbreak of hostilities therefore remains unlikely. Nevertheless, heightened tensions have raised the risk of a strategic miscalculation that could spark conflict.
The regime in Tehran is a ‘survivalist actor’ — it knows how to absorb shocks and international isolation, as its survival of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s shows. By closing the Strait of Hormuz the regime would critically hurt itself, shutting off the route for its own oil exports. The regime depends on crude oil exports for 60% of revenues and 80% of its hard currency. Furthermore, it knows that such an action would be tantamount to an act of war and is aware that its military would likely be devastated in any confrontation with the United States, as was the Iraqi military in 2003. It would therefore only be likely to attempt to close the Strait if its exports to Asia were blocked from leaving a fully-enforced international embargo.
Domestic tensions are high as a younger generation of conservatives, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad, seeks to challenge the clerical power represented by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his establishment. As parliamentary elections approach in March, these tensions are likely to ensure policy paralysis. This will affect strategic decision-making on foreign policy and the nuclear programme. Ahmadi-nejad is losing ground to the hard-line camp surrounding Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which is consolidating its position in the political sphere. While the IRGC leadership remains loyal to Khamenei, there are some signs that conservative infighting is creating divisions within its ranks.“
Secondo gli esperti “there are various scenarios under which Iran might decide to attempt to block the Strait: Israeli attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities, provoking retaliation from Iran; US attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, provoking retaliation; Iran’s decision to respond to throttling international sanctions; in response to a covert war, Iran carries out its own covert operation against a Western target; a strategic miscalculation or misstep, which would trigger limited conflict in the lower Gulf.
There are various trigger points which would indicate that a closure of the Strait may be imminent: Deterioration in Ahmadi-nejad’s domestic position. Severe decline in the Iranian economy. Rise in political tensions in Israel, causing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Disclosure of a significant advance in the Iranian nuclear programme, for example a nuclear test. A mistake by US or Iranian forces in the Gulf. Clash between Hizbollah and Israel, possibly prompted by the Syrian regime as it weakens. (…)”.
Sulla medesima questione anche la Strafor ha pubblicato un’analisi di George Friedman.