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News: Iran Economy

Iran: Mafia Trafficking in Clothing, With 95% of Imports Smuggled

ُThe organized cloths trafficking, particularly black cloth used in Chador, by creating fake certificates at Iranian custom control.
Black cloth for Chador in Iran is one of the main products in the clothing trafficking mafia.

The Iranian regime’s policies have prepared the ground for the creation of state-backed mafias and trafficking networks; giving them full liberty to continue their activities.

One of these activities is the organized cloth trafficking, particularly black cloth used in Chador, by creating fake certificates at Iranian custom control. 

Afasaneh Mehrabi, executive director of the regime’s Office of Textile and Garment Industries of the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Commerce, admitted to the presence of this mafia in an interview with the state-run Tasnim news agency, on October 31. 

She said: “We have to define mafia. Are smugglers part of this mafia? Is it possible for a commercial, or an organization to smuggle goods? Are they capable of importing goods that are needed in Islamic societies via unofficial import? Well, this could be the case.”  

This regime’s executive director refused to give a straight answer. Yet, another state-run news agency, Alef, on May 21, 2018, in an article titled “95 percent of imported garments in Iran are smuggled” revealed another part of the regime’s institutionalized corruption and plundering.  

It read: “Last week, custom office in the Kish Island discovered 80 containers of smuggled textiles and cloth. Yet Iran Customs CEO, Forood Asgari, claims trafficking statistics through official and free zones are zero.”

The origin of the cloth mafia  

The origin of this mafia is the Iranian regime’s supreme leader and his office. Regime officials have admitted to this fact during their infightings. For instance, the state-run Tabnak news agency quoted one of the regime’s parliamentarians on December 28, 2017, admitting to over 70% of smuggling from legal offices. 

He said: “I don’t know how strong this mafia is, but some documents are missing in the parliament and no one claims responsibility. I believe this mafia has infiltrated everywhere for having billions of dollars.” 

This mafia highly benefits from smuggling. This huge benefit leaves no place for competition between domestic producers since it is the mafia that sets the prices in the Iranian market.  

In this regard, the state-run ISNA news agency wrote on August 4, 2019: “There are over 2.7 to 3 billion dollars of garment smuggling per year.” 

The reason for the destruction of textile and garment industry 

The regime’s high volumes of importing are the main reason for the destruction of the country’s industry. The mullahs’ regime has not failed in plundering even the smallest area of the Iranian industry.

The policy of privatization of national companies, which began in 1991 and reached its peak in 2009, is, in fact, the regime’s private mafia.  

The regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, affiliated the mafia’s investment in importing low-quality goods to receive billions of dollars of benefit, destroyed the national industry and domestic production. After 40 years, the regime’s policy has not only bankrupted the Iranian textile industry and garment production, it has also destroyed cotton planting.  

In addition to trafficking garments, the supreme leader’s office controls the trafficking of oil to drugs, fruit, soil, etc.  

Punishing small businesses  

The root of the corruption lies in the supreme leader’s office and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) affiliated mafia. To whitewash their footprints, the regime started threatening small business owners. 

The state-run ISNA news agency on August 4, 2019, quoted a member of the board of directors of the regime’s production union, who said: “The distribution of over 100 written warnings in the first phase of the plan of fights against cloth trafficking among various shops in Iran.”  

The regime intends to sacrifice some small smugglers or distributors to cover up its theft and astronomical plundering.   

In another ridiculous example, the state-run Farday-e Kerman news agency reported the confiscation of some “162 pairs of children sport shoes, being smuggled without any authorization” in a bus.  

In a country where even sunglasses or slippers are smuggled by the regime’s affiliated mafia, the trafficking of black “Chador” textiles is not a wonder. Indeed, as long as the godfather of the mafia, the regime’s supreme leader Khamenei and its corrupted institutions are not toppled, they will continue plundering the national wealth and Iranian people.  

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