The Persian Gulf is a semi-closed sea which is surrounded by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. It is the single greatest link between Europe, Africa, as well as South and South-East Asia.
The strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Sea of Oman essentially links the regional countries to the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the Persian Gulf area is about 100 million. Most of these people are consumers of Western and Japanese industrial products.
The regional countries’ main source of revenue is oil and gas. Every day, about 15 to 16 million barrels of oil are exported to different parts of the planet from the regional countries via the Strait of Hormuz alone. The U.S., Western European countries, and Japan procure some 30, 60, and 76 percent of their oil needs respectively through the Persian Gulf region. The total regional imports and exports amount to over 145 billion dollars, some 80 billion dollars of which are related to the exports of crude minerals, particularly oil and gas.