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Abu Musa, which is only a few miles square, lies in the Persian Gulf about halfway between Iran and the UAE. For most of this century, it did not have more than a few dozen permanent residents. However, both Iran and the UAE desire control of the island. Abu Musa is full of oil reserves, which fuel the economies of both Iran and the UAE. In addition, the island is located in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf. This strategic position could allow a country to influence the Gulf's valuable shipping lane, or even to close off the Gulf all together.

Located between Oman and Iran, the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint due to its daily oil flow of 16.5-17 million barrels (first half 2008E), which is roughly 40 percent of all seaborne traded oil (or 20 percent of oil traded worldwide). Oil flows averaged over 16.5 million barrels per day in 2006, dropped in 2007 to a little over 16 million barrels per day after OPEC cut production, but rose again in 2008 with rising Persian Gulf supplies.

At its narrowest point the Strait is 21 miles wide, and the shipping lanes consist of two-mile wide channels for inbound and outbound tanker traffic, as well as a two-mile wide buffer zone. The majority of oil exported through the Strait of Hormuz travels to Asia, the United States and Western Europe. Currently, three-quarters of all Japan’s oil needs pass through this Strait. On average, 15 crude oil tankers passed through the Strait of Hormuz daily in 2007, along with tankers carrying other petroleum products and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Closure of the Strait of Hormuz would require the use of longer alternate routes at increased transportation costs. Alternate routes include the 745 miles-long Petroline, also known as the East-West Pipeline, across Saudi Arabia from Abqaiq to the Red Sea. The East-West Pipeline has a capacity to move five million-bbl/d. The Abqaiq-Yanbu natural gas liquids pipeline, which runs parallel to Petroline to the Red Sea, has a 290,000-bbl/d capacity. Other alternate routes could include the deactivated 1.65-million bbl/d Iraqi Pipeline across Saudi Arabia (IPSA), and the 0.5 million-bbl/d Tapline to Lebanon. Oil could also be pumped north to Ceyhan in Turkey from Iraq.

Simulation Emergency

The UAE set up a Radar station on Abu Musa against Iran’s protests. Iran took the island back with military action, closing down the strait.


Your country must fill out a Problem, Solution, Outcome chart, then propose your solution to the United Nations General Assembly. One person from each group must be the delegate who speaks.




We have got a problem, the war between UAE and Iran, this means we can’t get our oil.

The lack of gas and oil coming from that area.

We can use the Sues canal to move our oil and gas.
Force them to sign a peace treaty by the UN. Threatening them by saying we will take their sources.

Making the island a UN zone, splitting the oil equally.

We will get gas and oil from another route making it no problem for it to come to us.

Both countries get an equal amount of money and oil.

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