Iranians plan oil spill to block Hormuz strait -German weekly

BERLIN Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:46am EDT

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BERLIN Oct 15 (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards chief has drafted a plan to cause an environmental disaster in the Strait of Hormuz to block seaborne oil exports with the goal of removing economic sanctions imposed on Tehran, the weekly Der Spiegel said in an unsourced report.

There was no independent confirmation of the report.

The German newsmagazine reported that Mohammad Ali Jafari's plan, codenamed "Muddy Water", envisages the Iranians steering a tanker onto the rocks in the Strait, the world's most important oil shipping waterway.

"The aim is to block shipping temporarily through the contamination, to 'punish' adjacent Arab states that are hostile to Iran and to force the West to take part in a large-scale cleanup of the waters - and possibly thereby a suspension of sanctions against Tehran," Spiegel said.

"A decontamination would only be possible with technical help from the Iranian authorities and for this the embargo would have to be at least temporarily lifted," it said.

"Iranian firms, some of them owned by the Revolutionary Guards, could even profit from the rescue operations."

Der Spiegel gave no source for its report but said Western intelligence services were studying the plan, which it said now required only the approval of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to be put into effect.

Iran's economy is buckling under the weight of Western sanctions aimed at forcing the country to suspend its nuclear programme and negotiate seriously to resolve concerns that it is covertly trying to develop atom bombs, a charge Iran denies.

About 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports pass out of the Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has previously threatened to disrupt Gulf oil shipping if Israel or the United States carries out any attacks on its nuclear facilities.

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Comments (1)
Discovery451 wrote:
I doubt even the Iranians are that fanatical. They would oil up their own coast line. Once released, all that oil could go anywhere in the Persian Gulf. They could mess up the cooling system of that new nuke power plant they just finished. And who is to say their ‘enemies’ from the West would do anything but say, “Gee, that’s too bad. Give the tanker crews gas masks to use while they sail through the oil.” And suppose it was a lot worse that planned and a huge war started. Iran would lose that for sure. The Great Satan would level the place before letting the oil get cut off for years. Meanwhile, Iranians would lose a lot of weight with trade cut off and most infrastructure reduced to dust and twister metal. Even Jimmy Carter said that if it takes fighting World war III with Russia to keep the oil flowing, get ready for WW III. I doubt the religious leaders would condone massive, purposeful environmental destruction either. Doing it without a religious ruling might cause big problems inside Iran, once pictures of oil all over their own coasts show up on the Internet. The Chinese won’t like having a lot of their oil cut off. I wouldn’t want to be their UN ambassador if they did that. Talk about embarrassing.

Oct 16, 2012 4:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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