The Iraqi army has intercepted 19 trucks illegally carrying medicines from Iran to Iraq via rural back roads into the country. Smuggling of this kind is typically organized by the IRGC and sanctioned by the Iranian regime as a money-spinner.
The death toll due to Coronavirus continues to rise every day. The people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) latest announcement, that the Coronavirus fatalities in Iran had exceeded 127,100. Nurses and doctors are still saying that many hospitals are working overcapacity. There is a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for many that need it.
#Iran Coronavirus Update
More than 127,100 people have died of the novel #coronavirus in 458 cities checkered across all of Iran's 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 19, 2020
The (PMOI / MEK Iran), has been monitoring the situation very closely since the beginning of the outbreak because the corrupt mullahs’ regime cannot be trusted to be honest in such situations. The regime claims that the numbers of people have died, stands at 30,501, a fifth of the actual figure declared by the (PMOI / MEK Iran).
All the while, the regime complains about sanctions being imposed on Iran and how this hurts the country, despite the fact that medicine is not on the list of sanctions.
Smuggling goods into Iraq is done to evade customs duty being imposed on cheaper Iranian sourced goods. The profits are enough to make smuggling a worthwhile illegal activity for the IRGC, which also controls a good percentage of Iran’s ports on the Persian Gulf, another huge source of revenue through more smuggling.
As #Iran says it is suffering from medicine shortages, #Iraq's military intelligence discloses that it has thwarted a large medicine smuggling operation from Iran to Iraq. 19 trucks carrying hundreds of thousands of medicine were stopped.https://t.co/InNpSlJKkx
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) October 16, 2020
“Drug and medicine trafficking has been occurring in Iran for many years,” said Alireza Vahabzadeh, who is an advisor to the Minister of Health.
Another revelation about this sort of illegal activity came from one of the regime’s former members of parliament, Behrooz Bonyadi. He said: “the trafficking of medicine is fully organized. Traffickers rent citizens’ insurances to purchase medicine and smuggle it to Iraq.”
The regime’s health minister, Said Namaki, admitted that the regime was profiting from smuggling goods into Iraq, even if the cash they made on the deals was misspent. In June last year, Namaki said that: “with two million euros of government currency, they imported power cables instead of stents for hearts.”
An advisor to Iran's minister of health says smuggling medicine from Iran to neighboring countries has a long history and the 19 trucks smuggling medicine that were seized in #Iraq had bought their #medicine from pharmacies in #Iran. pic.twitter.com/wHaSbMsidH
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) October 17, 2020
How the IRGC control smuggling in Iran
Corruption is endemic in the mullahs’ regime. Much of the corruption involves smuggling goods into Iran from elsewhere through ports under the control of the IRGC (Revolutionary Guards). Of the 212 ports registered in Iran, the IRGC control 90 of them, 45% of the total. The IRGC makes 12billion dollars in revenue from imports into these ports.
The profits from smuggling help the regime to fund dubious projects, including subsidizing foreign terrorists and their nuclear weapon ambitions. Smuggling helps to destabilize and undermine the Iranian economy, however.
While IR lobbyist complain sanctions are causing a medicine shortage in Iran, Iraq’s military intelligence say they have thwarted a large medicine smuggling operation from Iran to Iraq. 19 trucks carrying $100s of thousands of medicine were smuggled to Iraq from Iran pic.twitter.com/1J1EqP3Hfq
— Potkin Azarmehr (@potkazar) October 16, 2020
Even some of the state-run media channels acknowledge the damage smuggling does, without pointing fingers directly at the IRGC’s involvement. For example, the Tasnim news agency three years ago published an article that said: “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.”
While Iranian regime’s lobby keeps tying medicine shortage in Iran to sanctions, Iraqi security officials announce discovery of a large medicine smuggling network FROM Iran TO Iraq. No smuggling network of this size can operate without regime’s IRGC involvement. https://t.co/7PR3l7lOUJ
— Rastakhiz (@sedaye_iran) October 16, 2020
The MEK report says that as the country is forced to bear the pandemic crisis with its rising death toll, a rise in poverty, runaway inflation, and a cash flow crisis even considering providing revenue for oil sounds completely unworkable. There will be more protests for sure if this so-called economic policy goes ahead.
Any kind of appeasement of the Iranian regime, including calling for sanctions to be lifted just emboldens the mullahs to continue with their corrupt ways.