The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) have reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is Iran’s most significant smuggler of goods into the country, with an estimated illegal income reaching billions of dollars.
Sistan and Baluchistan uprising
Yet, like any organized criminal gang elsewhere in the world this gang of thugs shoots and kills any poor individual on Iran’s border engaged in the portage of fuel outside the country.
As a typical example of the IRGC’s activity, several dozen Sokhtbars, ethnic Baluchi fuel porters, in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan in the southeast of Iran were shot last Monday, killing and injuring many of them.
The IRGC was apparently trying to stop the movement of the porters, but when the local citizens protested, they were fired upon. Dead bodies of porters were dumped in the nearby canal and their bodies could not be retrieved because the IRGC forces prevented this from happening.
The IRGC suppressive force
These porters resort to carrying fuel into Pakistan to scrape a living. The part of Iran where they live is economically very deprived and carrying fuel is one way that ethnic Baluchis can make a living, despite its dangers. The porters have to pay off the IRGC so that they can carry the fuel out of Iran. It is when they refuse or complain that they are attacked.
Some in the regime are quite aware of the hardships that these people endure every day. As MP Ali Khezrian admitted last September, “We traveled to the city of Iranshahr, the second-largest city in southeast Iran, and visited its villages. Unfortunately, the people of this area are deprived of facilities, such as showers and toilets. There were no suitable electricity facilities in the villages.”
A week ago, the IRGC shot dead a young Baluchi Sokhtbar, Mohammad Snjarzehi. This 19-year-old young man’s father was also killed.
Fuel porters are also found in the north-west part of Iran. They are called Kolbars. Like the Sokhtbars of Sistan & Baluchistan, these people are also living in poor, deprived areas and people resort to carrying fuel across the border just to scrape a living. 37year old Kolbar Behzad Hashemi, married with three children, was shot and killed by IRGC forces on February 8th in similar circumstances to the Sokhtbars on the other side of the country.
It is the abandonment by the regime of these economically deprived areas that drives people who live there to extreme ways of surviving. The obscenity is that instead of trying to make these people’s lives better, regime forces in the form of the IRGC actually make their lives even more miserable and unbearable.
The IRGC is Iran’s supreme smugglers
The IRGC makes billions of dollars by smuggling goods into and out of Iran through nearly 90 ports on the Persian Gulf coast. These ports represent 45% of the212 official ports in Iran. The imports and exports that are smuggled by the IRGC through these ports amount to an estimated12 billion dollars, according to figures obtained by the Iranian resistance movement
As the state-run news agency Tasnim reported on May 5th, 2017, “the figure of $15-20 billion of smuggled goods is not a low figure for our country; it is natural that the entrance of goods from illegal channels can deliver irrecoverable damages. From an economic point of view, the uncontrolled entrance of smuggled goods will lead to the end of the country’s domestic production, and this could have meant jobs for two million people.”
The report by Tasnim In 2017 was confirmed by the Iranian resistance movement in the same year in a report stating that: “state-linked institutions, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), have taken control over Iran’s ports and are meddling in customs affairs, literally transforming these economic centers to transits used to smuggled goods. The IRGC, by taking control over the country’s most important economic routes and establishing a major financial empire, has taken full control over large portions of Iran’s imports/export.”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s president-elect, said herself that “the clerical regime plunders the wealth of the people of Iran or wastes it on war and suppression. Children of the regime’s leaders are living lavish lives in Europe and the U.S. while deprived Iranian children have to work as porters.”
The opposition movement has stated time and time again that these atrocities will continue until the rotten regime of the mullahs is brought down and replaced with a democratic alternative by the will of the people.