Iran's ability to block the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow body of water separating the Indian Ocean from the Persian Gulf, through which oil tankers from the Middle East have to travel. If Iran were to block the Strait, oil prices would jump dramatically throughout the world.
Iran could also launch "paramilitary and/or missile attacks" on Western oil processing facilities in the Middle East, and could begin supporting groups fighting the US presence in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed into law another round of US sanctions against Iran, following on the heels of a fourth round of sanctions placed on the country by the UN.
Whether or not Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons has been an issue of controversy for years. While Iran says its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, Israeli lawmakers have described it as an "existential threat" to the small Jewish state.
The ORG report says that Iran is "slowly developing the technologies and personnel to enable it to handle a range of nuclear-related systems." If the country were to decide to use those capabilities to make weapons, it would take three to seven years for it to produce six usable weapons.
Join us on our
Share this page with your friends
on your favorite social network: