While the world knows of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) role in terrorism, oppression, corruption, and smuggling, the IRGC’s Navy commander now threatens dhow owners in southwestern Iran.
The IRGC and other regime officials are systematically plundering the national wealth for terrorism and adventurism. IRGC proxy groups such as Hezbollah are controlling a vast network of drug smuggling in South America. Yet, to show an “anti-corrupting” facade, they are bragging about fighting smugglers.
IRGC Brigadier General Alireza Tangsiri, commander of the regime’s IRGC navy, on Tuesday warned that if the smuggling of goods does not stop, the IRGC would set fire to the dhows carrying the goods at sea. This news was reported by the state-run Jahan News website on the same day.
Alireza Tangsiri continued: “Smuggling of goods has resulted in the outflow of currency from the country, unemployment and is a major blow to the country’s economic system.”
Tangsiri did not say who are the main perpetrators of the smuggling of goods in the country.
Most of the dhows seized by the Iranian regime’s navy are ships used by the natives of the southern provinces of Iran, such as Hormozgan and Bushehr, to transport goods from the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, to Iran.
Over the years, there have always been reports of arson in the southern Iranian ports, especially in Bushehr.
On June 7, 2019, the Tasnim news agency, owned by the IRGC’s terrorist Quds Force, reported that five dhows had caught fire in Bushehr. The fires were likely to have been intentional.
The primary goods smuggled into Iran by the owners of Iranian dhows in the south of the country are consumer and electrical goods, which are mainly sold in the southern provinces due to their small portion. Those who sell and import these goods are making their lives through this procedure.
On May 8, the Economic Commission of the Iranian regime’s parliament announced that more than 95 percent of smuggled goods to Iran are imported after going through the so-called “official procedures” and “official principles.” This report was wired by the state-run website Mashreq News.
So, what the IRGC Navy commander’s threat to Iranian dhow owners mean?
Over the past three decades, there have been numerous reports of unauthorized piers in the Persian Gulf and the import of smuggled goods by the IRGC. In addition, the major smuggling shipments have been under the IRGC supervision. Unlike other countries where smuggling is not related to any government or military institutions, in Iran the IRGC has monopolized smuggling and illegal export and import of goods.
During their infightings, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president of the regime, in July 2011 accused the IRGC of playing a serious role in smuggling goods, saying: “Between 55 and 60 billion cigarettes are consumed in Iran. It is equivalent to 2 trillion tomans. This figure makes all world-class smugglers greedy, let alone our ‘smuggling brothers’,” referring to the IRGC.
In his controversial speech, Ahmadinejad also called on the country’s various forces and departments to import their security, intelligence, and defense goods across the legal borders.
After Ahmadinejad’s remarks, Mohammad Ali Jafari, then commander of the IRGC, attacked Ahmadinejad, calling him a stakeholder in smuggling, calling his remarks “deviant talk.”
“It does not happen, and it’s a matter of deviant talk. People who raise these issues are interested, and by raising such issues, they are trying to divert the attention of the government and other agencies from where the main smuggling of goods takes place,“ Jafari said.
The IRGC has about 80 illegal docks on Iran’s shores and claims to import security and defense goods from these docks.
But the bigger reality is that in all economic spheres in Iran, both natural resources and massive constructions, or illegal fields such as fuel and goods smuggling to neighboring countries, the IRGC have always played a significant role. Billions of dollars of these revenues are sent to the accounts of the corrupt and terrorist commanders of the IRGC without going through any financial audit and tax collection. While Iranian society has to endure a dire economic situation and more than 60 million Iranians live below the poverty line, news continues to circulate about the IRGC opening deadly fire on porters (Koolbaran) in Iran’s western province of Kurdistan and Baluchistan’s fuel porters and confiscated their goods under the pretext of countering smuggling.
Even now, the real chief of pirates and terrorists of the IRGC is threatening to set Iranian dhows ablaze in the Persian Gulf because they do not tolerate even a small amount of the transfer of goods by anyone other than the corrupt mafia of the IRGC.