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Prelude to a Naval Great Game: Iran in Latin American Waters

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Published
Publication date10/02/2023
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherThe Geopolitics
Medium of outputOnline
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Panama Canal is an international waterway connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea [by default the Atlantic Ocean]. A major logistical hub, about 3.5% of the world’s maritime trade is conducted through it every year. A key global trade link, an estimate of over $270 billion worth of cargo crosses the Canal each year – serving over 140 maritime routes to over 80 countries.

Thanks to a century-long US control and its continued hegemony over this piece of strategic real-estate, there has never seen any Suez-like incident over the Canal. However, this long normality risks being ruptured, if a faraway regime decides to muddy this critical waterway.

Currently two Iranian warships are heading for the Canal. A regular occurrence one might think. However, they are sailing towards it with a specific state-sanctioned purpose: to establish Iran’s military presence in the region.