Few countries in the world can match Iran’s geo-economic and geo-political significance in the global energy markets. The country holds the world’s largest proven natural gas reserve (18.2 percent) and fourth oil reserves (9.3 percent). It is a founding member of both the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). In 1908, Iran became the first country in the Middle East to discover oil. In addition to these massive hydrocarbon deposits, well-developed energy infrastructure, and long history as a major producer and exporter, the Islamic Republic enjoys a key strategic location. It has close and easy access to two major consuming markets-Europe and South Asia. Finally, the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important transit chokepoint, is off the southeastern coast of Iran. In 2013, roughly 30 percent of all seaborne traded oil and 30 percent of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) flowed through the Strait.