How the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water where ships carry $1.2 billion of oil every day, is at the heart of spiraling tensions with Iran

Photo of How the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water where ships carry $1.2 billion of oil every day, is at the heart of spiraling tensions with Iran
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  • Recent tensions between Iran and the US are threatening the safety of the world's ships and movement oil in the Strait of Hormuz.
  • The narrow strait is the most important chokepoint for the world's oil supply. Some 21 million barrels — or $1.2 billion worth of oil — pass through the strait every day.
  • One way Iran could exact its revenge on the US and its allies is by shutting or harassing tankers in the strait, which would disrupt oil supply and send prices shooting up.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tensions between the West and Iran bubbled to a historic height in recent days after the assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and Tehran bombed two Iraqi bases that housed US troops.

They have sparked fears of wider US-Iran attacks in the greater region, which could take place in and around the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow body of water linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, which feeds into Arabian Sea and the rest of the world.

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