DUBAI - Iran has denied accusations that its revolutionary armed forces (IRGC) are planning an environmental disaster in the Strait of Hormuz and use it to have international sanctions against it lifted, local media reported on Wednesday.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday it had evidence of a plan by IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari to cause an oil spill to block crude exports through the Strait crucial to the global economy.

The report gave no source but said the aim was to "punish" oil-exporting Gulf Arab states hostile to Iran and force the West to request Iranian help in the cleanup, opening the way to a suspension of financial and trade sanctions against it.

"These words show that Western nations have been brought low and have resorted to making any allegation against us," Mohammed Reza Naqdi, head of Iran's Basij militia, was quoted by local media website Raad News as saying.

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