Persian Gulf: Strait Talk

Worries about Hormuz

There is no way that we could stand by and see that sea-lane denied to shipping." So said President Reagan last week, referring to growing concern that fighting between Iran and Iraq could close the 40-to 60-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf shipping lane through which 20% of the West's crude oil travels. That threat grew more worrisome as Iran launched yet another offensive, its biggest since July 1982, against Iraq. By week's end Iranian forces had occupied 37 Iraqi border villages, and were engaged in fierce hand-to-hand battles with Iraqi defenders on the outskirts...

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