UK think tank: Regional instability threatens food security in Persian Gulf

Instability in Egypt and Iranianthreats to block the Strait of Hormuz are serious risks to foodsecurity in the Gulf, according to a report by a British thinktank.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries depend onimports for 80-90 percent of their food, and most of it has tobe brought in through two shipping routes that could close dueto regional conflicts or political pressure, London-basedChatham House warned.

With over 80 percent of the Gulf's wheat coming through theSuez Canal and 80 percent of its rice supply brought in throughthe Strait of Hormuz, the most vulnerable countries are theUnited Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, the study said.

Iran threatened in 2012 to block the Strait of Hormuz if itcame under attack, as tensions rose with the West last year overTehran's disputed nuclear program.

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