Sunday, July 29, 2018

Location, Location, Location

Saudi Arabia is temporarily shutting down oil exports through the southern Red Sea strait:

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait, one of the world's most important tanker routes, after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.

And Kuwait is thinking about it.

When you wonder why Iran would try to gain a foothold in this region--and if you wonder why Saudi Arabia would wage war in Yemen--recall that the battle for Gulf oil export routes has been going on for nearly forty years now.

Iran looms over the Strait of Hormuz and Arab Gulf oil exporters want alternate routes to avoid Iranian military efforts. So Iran wants to follow the alternate oil routes that use the Red Sea.

Iran doesn't care if they have allies in Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, or Somalia. Any one would do.

UPDATE: The Saudis resumed using the Red Sea route:

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it would resume all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb, the state news agency SPA reported.