Iran is considering the option of artificially producing an enormous environmental disaster that would affect the entire region, in order to punish its enemies and force the West to decrease the sanctions against the regime, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

According to Western intelligence agencies quoted by the the German news weekly, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have developed a secret plan to intentionally cause an oil tanker to contaminate the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

Dubbed “Murky Waters,” the plan is reportedly the brainchild of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps head Mohammad Ali Jafari and Iranian Navy commander Admiral Ali Fadawi. The purpose of the environmental disaster would be to block the Strait of Hormuz to international oil tankers, and to “punish” states in the area that are hostile to Iran, according to the report. Furthermore, Western nations, forced to cooperate with Iran in efforts to clean the strait, would conceivably be forced to reduce the sanctions currently placed on the Islamic Republic.

The plan is currently in the hands of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who would be the one deciding about its implementation, the magazine said.

Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz (photo credit: NASA/Public domain)

Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz (photo credit: NASA/Public domain)

On Saturday, Khamenei vowed to defy the efforts of the West and Israel to thwart the regime’s nuclear ambitions. “We should not neglect the enemy,” he said at a public lecture. “One day it’s talk of sanctions. Another day it’s talk of military aggression. And one day, it’s talk of soft war… But they should rest assured that… our enemies will fail in all their conspiracies and tricks.”

One-fifth of the world’s oil transports pass through the Strait of Hormuz, which is why the US has said it would not tolerate the closure of the strait, something Iran has threatened in the past. In July, Adm. Ali Reza Tangsiri, a senior Iranian navy commander, said Tehran had no plans to close the strait.