Iran's Plan to Close the Strait of Hormuz

Guiding a full oil tanker onto the rocks in the Strait of Hormuz would create an environmental disaster that would force governments hostile to Iran to participate in the clean-up, essentially lifting the current sanctions against the Islamic Republic. At least that's a plan devised by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to Reuters, which cites a story in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.

The German magazine did not cite a source for the story. Here's how the plan, code-named "Muddy Waters," would work:

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.

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.

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

Crude shipments through the Strait of Hormuz account for about 20% of the world's supply, and any disruption to that supply would certainly send crude prices soaring.

Paul Ausick