Talk:Strait of Hormuz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Arab world (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Arab world, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Arab world on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Western Asia / Oman (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Western Asia, which collaborates on articles related to Western Asia. To participate, you can edit this article or visit the project page for more details.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Oman (marked as Mid-importance).
WikiProject Iran (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Iran, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to articles related to Iran on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please join the project where you can contribute to the discussions and help with our open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Oman (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Oman, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Oman on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Transport / Maritime  (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Transport, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Transport on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Maritime task force.

Baseless claims[edit]

An encyclopaedia is no place for baseless territorial claims of this Shaykh or that Shaykh, so I hope other users do not undo my edits. --Mani1 15:54, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I won't revert, but I would think that particular territorial holdings in the strait are a reasonable and relevant. Why do you think they aren't? Is it just the pettiness of the particular holdings? --Golbez 16:07, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What a coincidence of Hurmogh![edit]

Korean   Sounds like   Meaning 
------   -----------   ---------
흐르다    huruda/hrda   (v.) flow
흐름      hurum/hrm     (n.) flow
목        mog/mok       (n.) neck

--KYPark 03:06, 13 August 2005 (UTC)


"Lending vast importance to the United Arab Emirates (and the Dubai Ports World's deal) as a staging area for future American-Iran hostilities. No military strategy can hope to succeed without first establishing a beachhead across the strait in Iran, so that the danger of blowing up oil tankers and blocking passage is removed." <----People don't come here to read your military strategies....I suggest this be removed

Someone beat me to the punch. I second the opinion above. This is not a place for armchair generals to convene. Removing the passage in question. --Impaciente 23:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Biggest surface battle since WWII?[edit]

I infer from's unsigned edits that the editor believes that the Falklands War, not Operation Praying Mantis, was the largest clash between surface forces since WWII. But I can't find any reference to surface warships actually shooting at each other in the 1982 conflict, unlike the 1988 one in the Strait. All the sunk ships in the Falklands were hit by UK subs or Argentine and UK aircraft. Am I missing something? PRRfan 16:30, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

While there was a night surface action, it was between a single RN Type 21 frigate and an Argentine freighter, and I really don't think you could characterize the conflict as a clash between surface forces. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

More on Etymology[edit]

Very interesting remark from KYPark, however Prof. Ali Mazaheri in expresses his opinion on etymology of Hormoz, I shall edit the main article soon when I will get hold of the book again. He believes that the word derives from Hur (=water, lake)+Mouz (=Bannana), meaning the waterway which Bannana was imported to Mainland Iran/Persia. Other very interesting linguistic fact about Hormoz is that there is a town called "Pohl", it has shortest distance to the other side of the shore. "pwhl"(transliteration from Book Pahlavi)"Puhl" in Middle Persian means "Bridge" cf. New Persian "Pol/Pul". Did Ancient Iranians plan to build a bridge to connect to Qeshm via the bridge? is there Archeological evidence for that or should we seek for it? Prooshan 20:46, 28 March 2007 (UTC)prooshan

Folk Etymologies?[edit]

I believe the given etymologies are not founded and look like folk etymology. There were many cities and places called Hormuz or Hormizd (Pahlavi form of Ahura Mazad, the great god of Iranians) during Sassanid time, and this place would be another instance of such names. Why trying these far-fetched conjectures like "lake of banana"?! or Hur-mogh (date palm)? The given sources are not "scholarly" and don't quote any scholar about the etymology, as one of them is a page in CNN mobile and the other is the portal of Minab and none of them mentions any actual source for hur-mogh etymology. BrokenMirror2 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC).

I agree, these sources do not seem reliable, certainly not scholarly, and the CNN link is dead anyway. "Hur-mogh" is a terrible phonetic fit, while Hormuz/Hurmuz is apparently directly attested as a (Modern Persian?) variant of Middle Persian Ohrmuzd, and the kingdom/port/island – and ultimately Ahura Mazda – are much more likely as naming motivation. Unfortunately, Encyclopædia Iranica is silent on the issue, but its mention of older names such as Harmozia here does not support the alternative etymologies and rather supports the Ahura Mazda one. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:14, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

What Percentage of the World's Oil ?[edit]

I can get web sites saying 20% of the world's oil goes throught the straits, and also ones saying 40% and ones saying 40% of oil EXPORTS. Is there some reference we could use that's better than quoting a newspaper article? Mike Young 09:24, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Traffic Separation Scheme vs Channel[edit]

I don't think it is correct to say that the shipping channel is six miles wide even through some sources say this. The word channel implies that navigation outside the channel is restricted because of depth or navigational hazards such as rocks etc. This is not the case with the Straits of Hormuz. The TSS is 6 miles wide and the purpose is to reduce the risk of collisions, not keep ships in deep water as is the case of a marked channel. The difference is that if a channel is blocked then tankers would be unable to transit the strait. In this case there is no reason to block the TSS as a loaded tanker could simply sail around it. A big ULCC has a draft of 25 meters or so, the straits are 50+ meters both inside and outside the TSS. Ken E. Beck 14:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like you know more about this than I. PRRfan 15:15, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Traffic lanes serve the same purpose as lines painted on highways or parking lots to guide traffic. You don't have to follow them when you drive but it is safer if you do. Here is a chart that shows about 70% if the lanes [1] Ken E. Beck 15:36, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
It would be good if somebody could find a source stating that the navigable channel is actually rather wide and that the lanes are as you say artificial. Then that concept should be made crystal clear in the article. It still seems to be a common incorrect belief that the strait might be blocked by some tactic like sinking a few tankers in the channel.CountMacula (talk) 01:18, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Iranian Revolutionary Guard vs. U.S. Navy[edit]

Went ahead an at least started this section. If I was in error, let me know. BigGator5 (talk) 15:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems far too early to be notable. This event will probably slip into memory rapidly with no long term consequences. That being said, I'm new around here, so I'll leave the call to someone else. Pugget (talk) 17:36, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
That's why I choose to place it here instead of it's own article. If nothing else comes out of this event, then I'll remove the current event tag. BigGator5 (talk) 17:42, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately someone already removed the tag. I was hoping to get more facts on here. --Playmaid (talk) 18:42, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I think we should think about cleaning up all the references (I know I am mostly at fault for this) and condense them into maybe two references. I will leave you wiki vets to do this. BigGator5 (talk) 01:27, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

International Waters[edit]

After today's events I learned that the Strait of Hormuz is an international water. Could anybody verify this information and add to the article what it is that makes it an international water. Are there international binding contracts? --Playmaid (talk) 18:42, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

In an attempt to answer this question, I scanned through Security and Territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography, by Mojtahed-Zadeh using Google and Amazon's booksearch. The book is moderately old in geopolitical terms, but the last treaty he mentions in regards of the straight was signed on July 15th 1974 between Iran and Oman. They basically split the straight down the middle. Relevant pages are 94-96. The agreement was based on an older British document, the Admirality Chart No. 2888 of 1962. To quote the book: "The boundary agreement of 1974 does not specify any method of delimitation except that the boundary line is clearly calculated on equidistant between the coastlines of the two countries' islands" (poor grammar in the original). The book lists no further treaties that I see, which indicates the strait is not international water. According to the same book, Iran declared in 1993 that all territorial waters be open for "innocent passage," although they reserve the right to revoke it (pg. 100-101). I'm not sure one book is enough to go on however... Pugget (talk) 21:50, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I should mention that I'm going to remove the international waters remark until there is more clarity. Pugget (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
An interesting question. Certainly, the U.S. government considers free passage through the Hormuz strait to be an international right, and has devoted considerable naval power over the past few decades to enforcing that.[2] PRRfan (talk) 22:27, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your help. That is a very interesting information! I did have my doubts already, though we still don't know whether there are newer agreements maybe. But I doubt that it turned into an international water after 1993. --Playmaid (talk) 22:38, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The 1993 declaration was not specific to the Strait, but addressed all Iranian territorial waters. As far as I can tell, 1974 was the last official treaty. I'm slightly dubious however - 1974 seems like a long time in the region! Cheers, Pugget (talk) 22:47, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Parts of the Strait have no international waters, and ships rely on Innocent passage to traverse the Straits. Warships can do inoccent passage, but must not do things like threaten to use force, fire weapons, launch helicopters, travel underwater (see UNCLOS Part 2 Article19), so if the U.S warship wasn't in international waters it was in a trcky legal position. I recall reading an interview with U.S. Admiral about this in regard of Iran Air Flight 655 shootdown, but can't track down the interview right now. Iran's ICJ pleadings has a map marking Iran's claims in the Strait on page 20. The collision between USS Newport News and tanker Mogamigawa is interesting, because if the sub was in Iran's water while submerged that was very naughty, and would probably have much annoyed the Iranians. Rwendland (talk) 00:41, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

CORRECTION: It is Transit Passage under UNCLOS Part 2 Article 37-44 in a Strait, not Innocent passage, with fewer restriction. Though the normal passage north of the Strait may well involve Innocent passage thru Iran's waters, as it looks quite shallow further out in international waters. Rwendland (talk) 23:23, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
BTW though the UNCLOS was signed by both the USA and Iran, but not ratified so far. --Playmaid (talk) 01:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but I think its innocent passage rules are simply a codification of customary international law in this area, which pretty-much everyone accepts. Anyway I notice Bloomberg is reporting "The U.S. ships were in international waters, the Navy said in a press release." [3] [4] Rwendland (talk) 02:38, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I also assumed that innocent passage was customary international law at first, because I thought it was not bearable to have to deal with countries not allowing to pass in an area like the Persian Gulf. Though if it was customary law, there would be no reason for Iran to declare it an "innocent passage" area, and Iran would not go on threatening to close it again, which they have done throughout the past years. I've tried to find confirmation of it being customary law, though have not found any yet. --Playmaid (talk) 10:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
DOD has just released video, and it is confusing. The US seaman broadcasts on VHF to the Iranians "I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law, I intend no harm." ... "You are approaching coalition warships in international waters." to 3 distant small patrol craft. Not sure if the clips are from different times, but it only makes sense if they are. Then a boat shown possibly making the threat seemed to be a small unarmed speedboat with 2/3 people closer in, not flying a flag, and the voice making the rather unclear possible threat seemed to have an African accent: "I am coming to you. We will (unclear: explode?), (unclear: after just a minute?)". All very odd. Without timestamping it is hard what to make of it all, but the threatening speedboat is not obviously Iranian. Rwendland (talk) 23:37, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
No surprise, Iran is now claiming the video was "fabricated" from "file photos." As you say Rwendland, the video clears absolutely nothing up. Of course, it will make great play on the various television networks. Cheers, Pugget (talk) 15:59, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The Straits of Hormuz are NOT international waters. They are the national waters of Iran and Musandam, the exclave of Oman. You may refer to the link below. -- (talk) 19:50, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but "" is not an official source. The issue is in dispute and has not been resolved by the United Nations under UNCLOS IV. You can state your opinion as many times as you want in Wikipedia, but it will not make it so. Brent Woods 03:42, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The "officiality" of the source is irrelevant so you can be as sorry as you want, it won't change the fact that the Strait of Hormuz at its narrowest part fall entirely within Iran's and Oman's territorial waters (Which is delineated by 22km away from the coastline, while the Strait at its narrowest has a span of 39km, now divide that in two with the two countries that I mentioned and do your own math). Therefore no "official source" is needed, no piece of paper has ever delineated this tract of the Strait of Hormuz, which by itself IS the defining part of the Strait itself, to have ever been international waters. The fact that UNCLOS IV does not mention it puts the burden of proof to the side that wishes to proclaim the Strait of Hormuz to be international waters. The shipping lanes themselves fall entirely within Iran's territorial waters, which is a well-constituted fact.

So in fact, it is YOU who wishes to turn your opinion into fact. The UNCLOS IV is at no uncertainty at any point and certainly does not call the Strait of Hormuz at its defining choking point "international waters". Thus the responsibility of proving the exact opposite is yours. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

My friend, I am not trying to PROVE anything. All I said was that the issue is in dispute (specifically with respect to drawing strainght baselines along a jagged coast). In fact, as a Canadian, I am careful not to challenge Iran or Oman on this issue since our government is using the same arguments to assert our claims in the Canadian Arctic waters. The only point I am trying to make is that an encyclopedia is not the appropriate forum to argue territorial claims. Brent Woods 20:49, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Importance tag[edit]

Someone's asking whether the article needs the Jan. 7 incident section at all, a concern voiced earlier by Pugget. I would guess that the incident will indeed recede in importance, but I believe that a single paragraph is not too much to devote to it. PRRfan (talk) 16:49, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

That would be yours truly. Yes, I consider this a case of WP:RECENTISM (which IMHO to some extent has polluted a fair deal of articles on Wikipedia). If the incident is in any way notable then perhaps a 'see also' pointer to a line or two over at United States-Iran relations would be more suitable. Cheers, (talk) 17:06, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider it important anymore, too. It was most probably blown out of proportion from the beginning. Since there have been paragraphs on Strait events before, I think a short paragraph in this article would do. --Playmaid (talk) 17:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I do think full discussion of this event is better suited in United States-Iran relations, which I see does not mention it yet. I propose moving the current text there, and leaving something brief here. If we're not careful this aticle will fill up with geopolitcal detail, which shouldn't be the thrust of this article. That said major events which lead to deaths, and relate to navigation (like the sub accident), probably should get a mention - but this event is marginal I think. Rwendland (talk) 22:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good -- my main concern was that the detail that had been accumulated and cited here would be lost to WP, but moving it to another page is fine. PRRfan (talk) 22:38, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, done. Rwendland (talk) 01:04, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


References # 14 & 15 could be considered questionable; which would make the "2008 Naval Activity" section unverified -- (talk) 15:28, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Narrowest Distance[edit]

I see there has been a little edit war over the narrowest distance. As a note, the smallest distance I could find in Google Earth, which is using USGS data, was 29 miles, making both sources incorrect. But there are many different ways to measure it. I get 32 miles if I do not use the islands on the Iranian side. So, I'm going to leave the new reference and number for now. Anyone have other sources? Pugget (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 23:05, 19 November 2008 (UTC).

Navigable Width[edit]

I was hoping to determine the actual navigable width of the straits. Any additional input? LorenzoB (talk) 04:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

New map[edit]

There were several closeup images of this little spit of land but none showing where it was actually located, so I added a map of the region with the Strait pointed out. It's pretty shitty, so feel free to make a new version, but I think having at least one smaller-scale map provides some helpful context. Kleptosquirrel (talk) 18:26, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

new section: Ability of Iran to hinder shipping[edit]

I started a new section to answer the question of how effective Iran can be in disrupting shipping in the Strait should it choose to. There should go general statements by experts on that topic as well as technical details and scenarios with reference to such things as width and depth of the navigable channel, what military measures and countermeasures might or might not be employed (missiles, mines, minesweepers, sunken tankers, etc.), citing verifiable sources of course. Thank you for any contributions you can make there. CountMacula (talk) 00:10, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I took a photo of a BA Chart and posted it on Flickr here - It's marked up a little but feel free to use it if it is helpful CaptCarlsen (talk) 17:41, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

File:Old map.JPG Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Image-x-generic.svg An image used in this article, File:Old map.JPG, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests February 2012
What should I do?

Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.

To take part in any discussion, or to review a more detailed deletion rationale please visit the relevant image page (File:Old map.JPG)

This is Bot placed notification, another user has nominated/tagged the image --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 12:04, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Depth of the Gulf and of the Strait[edit]

I don't see that the article mentions the water depths that would or would not be relevant to naval warfare related to harassment of shipping. This would seem to relate to the practicability of submarine warfare in the Gulf and in the Strait, for one thing. One might think that the U.S. could send a sub into the Gulf and sink the whole Iranian navy in a few days, but maybe it is too shallow or something. Asking for some very basic information here: the depth of the Gulf and the Strait. Thanks if you can help.CountMacula (talk) 01:26, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

While yes that could be done, that is not a very sound solution. It is about 60 meters deep in most places. I don't have an official source otherwise I would put it in the article. There are also a number of mines in the strait that prevent such simple solutions Tkent91 (talk) 12:15, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
My mention of submarine warfare was just an example of wild speculation that we probably wouldn't have to waste time on had we some very basic information that the article lacks---inexplicably and perplexingly.CountMacula (talk) 02:31, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Is "Link Quality Indicator (LQI)" relevant?[edit]

The navigation section includes the words "Link Quality Indicator (LQI)" in discussion of a navigational radar. This seem to me to be irrelevant.

Burt Harris 15:51, 27 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burt Harris (talkcontribs)

Operation Praying Mantis not in Strait?[edit]

I would like to challenge inclusion of mention of Operation Praying Mantis in the article on the Straight of Hormuz. I suspect true locations of action were not technically in the Straights but inside the Persian Gulf. US naval Aircraft involved probably did transit the area as the Aircraft carrier was outside the Gulf. Need latitude and longitude of actions for proof, probably not within public Domain. Vincennes incident can remain is within the Straights area. Wfoj2 (talk) 22:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Bypass Canal[edit]

Given the tensions it seems self evident that a bypass canal solution, like for example the Manchester Ship Canal, would be considered. Is it worth including this in the article. (talk) 11:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)