Washington has responded strongly to Iran’s threats, declaring that any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz is a “red line” that would “trigger a military response.”
The US which has invested in military preparedness to keep the Strait open would respond, potentially joined by other countries,” a Congressional Research Service report said. “Such a military response may or may not be limited to simply reopening the Strait for transit.”
The US Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain and tasked with securing the flow of oil, said that any disruption of traffic in the Strait will not be tolerated.
According to recent media reports, the US has bolstered its military presence in the region, moving a floating base for naval special forces into the Gulf, as well as four additional anti-mine ships. A senior Defence Department official told the New York Times that “The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it’.
In 2010, a directive by the US Secretary of Defence added another aircraft carrier to the Gulf where the US typically has kept only one carrier.