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article imageU.S. Navy to use dolphins against Iran

By Todd Smith     Jan 14, 2012 in World
While the looming threat from Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz grows, the Navy looks to dolphins to save them in a worst-case scenario.
The Straight of Hormuz sees one-fifth of the world's oil trade daily, so the Iranian threat to shut it down was not taken lightly.
According to a report on the Atlantic Wire, Obama has threatened that any attempt to close the Strait would provoke a U.S. response. These messages were reportedly delivered straight to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to demonstrate how seriously the United States took this situation. Reported by another Atlantic Times article, the U.S. has considered releasing its oil reserves if Iran carries through with its threat.
In the event that Iran does close the Strait of Hormuz, according to Yahoo News, the first objective of the U.S. Navy would be to clear out any suspected mines that Iran would use to blockade the heavily traveled passage. The solution to this is allegedly the use of Navy-trained dolphins.
Using dolphins to detect mines isn't a heavily advertised method, but according to Yahoo News it is a method which has a "time-tested success rate."
The use of dolphins might sound familiar, the last time the Navy boasted about the astounding ability dolphins had to detect mines was during the invasion of Iraq. The use of dolphins in war has never been accepted by animal rights groups, and according to the Atlantic Wire petitions have been sent to various governmental departments.
Seen differently back in 2003, protests against the use of dolphins were more sensitive to politics at the time. According to Yahoo News they were "not going to second-guess the Navy at a time of war."
Reported by Yahoo News, the Navy ensures that the use of dolphins is simply to detect the mines and the actual destruction of them is always left to Navy divers. The ethics behind using these mammals during war is still in question though, as they are reportedly large enough to set off an active mine.
While Iran continues to use its massive oil supply as a threat in the case the United States continues to dispute with it, according to another article in the Atlantic Times, the United States contests that "no matter what the country ends up doing, we've got a backup plan."
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