Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have developed plans to damage an oil tanker in the Gulf to create an environmental disaster, AFP reports citing German magazine Spiegel.
Citing Western intelligence sources, the weekly said the top-secret plan, codenamed "Dirty Water", is aimed at blocking the oil-rich Gulf to shipping and forcing Western countries to become involved in a huge clean-up operation.
Spiegel said the Revolutionary Guards believe this in turn would prompt Western nations to suspend sanctions imposed over Iran's nuclear programme which have started to hit the economy hard this year.
The plan, developed by the head of the Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, and Admiral Ali Fadavi, head of the force's navy division, would also "punish" Arab states around the Gulf for their support of the West and Israel, the report said.
A clean-up operation could only take place with Iranian technical help, requiring a temporary lifting of sanctions, the plan says, according to Spiegel.
Jafari and Fadavi have passed the plan to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who would have the final say on whether to implement it, Spiegel said.