The office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in UK held a press conference on March 7, 2016, in London to release information on the network of illicit docks in southern Iran being used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to transport weapons and goods to evade international sanctions. The funds earned are then used to finance their terrorist activities.
According to the NCRI, a number of IRGC companies involved in exporting weapons to the regional groups affiliated to the Iranian regime, particularly those operating in Yemen. Detailed information was released on the methods of operations of these companies was presented as well.
“These docks play a key role in the regime’s efforts to evade sanctions. Investigations by PMOI/MEK sources within the regime concluded that unlawful export of arms to proxy forces in the region are carried out through docks,” according to the NCRI. “IRGC has set up a number of front companies to dispatch arms and caches to the regime’s proxies through these docks.”
Subsequent to the closure of the docks in Yemen to the regime’s ships, the IRGC companies use the ports in Oman to smuggle weapons into Yemen. Import and export of illicit goods from the docks controlled by the IRGC amount to 12 billion dollars annually. IRGC is economically set up to control a bulk of Iran’s export and import, as well as a source of independent funding beyond its budget from the Iranian government.
Based on Khamenei’s order, no authority is allowed to oversee the activities of the IRGC at border areas, and it can import anything in any quantity without paying any custom fees. The IRGC is also engaged in smuggling goods, including oil, cigarettes, mobile phones and pharmaceuticals, just to name a few of the goods listed by the NCRI.
The NCRI also released information pointing to the IRGC Navy’s control and management of docks and ports in southern Iran by designating five command headquarters in the south. Specific information obtained by the Iranian resistance show that arms dispatch goes on continuously and only a small portion of the IRGC engagement in unlawful arms export have been uncovered in recent years.
“The IRGC is therefore a comprehensive economic set up that virtually controls bulk of Iran’s export and import. Exclusive use and control of a major part of the docks in Iran is a key element in its set up,” said the NCRI report.
Since the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, it has increased its activities within the region, becoming active in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Their regional impact has to export terrorism and discord that has destabilized the region. This release of information about the IRGC and its smuggling activities are just one more confirmation of the Iranian regime’s activities to continue to undermine the region.
The NCRI is a broad coalition of democratic Iranian organizations, groups, and personalities, founded in 1981 in Tehran. The coalition is committed to a secular democratic republic in Iran, based on a separation of religion and state. They have revealed information about activities within Iran, including the regime’s nuclear weapons program in 2002.