The contention that Iran can mine the Straits of Hormuz is apparently flawed. It is physically feasible, but it would mean that Iran would be committing political suicide. It is a fact that roughly 17 million billion barrels per day (bbl/d) or 40% of worldâ€™s oil passes through this strait daily. Another report states that on average, 13 crude oil tankers per day passed eastbound through the Strait in 2009 (compared with an average of 18 in 2007-2008), with a corresponding amount of empty tankers entering westbound to pick up new cargos. More than 75 percent of these crude oil exports went to Asian markets, with Japan, India, South Korea, and China representing the largest destinations. Can Iran afford to upset the Asian countries? Further, closure of the Strait of Hormuz would require the use of longer alternate routes at increased transportation costs. Costs apart, alternate oil routes are there and are being constucted. Alternate routes include the 745 mile long Petroline, also known as the East-West Pipeline, across Saudi Arabia from Abqaiq to the Red Sea. The East-West Pipeline has a nameplate capacity of 4.8 million bbl/d. The Abqaiq-Yanbu natural gas liquids pipeline, which runs parallel to the Petroline to the Red Sea, has a 290,000-bbl/d capacity. A new bypass is currently being constructed across the United Arab Emirates that is expected to be completed in 2011. The 1.5 million bbl/d Habshan-Fujairah pipeline will cross the emirate of Abu Dhabi and end at the port of Fujairah just south of the Strait. Other alternate routes could include the deactivated 1.65-million bbl/d Iraqi Pipeline across Saudi Arabia (IPSA), and the deactivated 0.5 million-bbl/d Tapline to Lebanon. Additional oil could also be pumped north via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline to the port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea, but volumes have been limited by the closure of the Strategic pipeline linking north and south Iraq. A dÃ©tente with the US will be mutually beneficial to both the US and Iran. It will open up the route to Afghanistan through Iran's Chabahar port and would be more economical and safer than the Pak route. It will also make the Pak route redundant and US will not be in the grip of Pak blackmail and will change the geostrategic matrix in South Asia. From the US standpoint, it would nullify the Russian and Chinese influence on Iran. Iran would benefit with the revenue that will accrue through the US paying for transit to Afghanistan. It would also remove the crippling sanctions as also permit Iran to resume its economic plans to build the pipeline to India through Pakistan. The spinoffs for India can be well understood without recall.