NCRI – Commenting on why 38 years after the revolution there’s still poverty and prostitution, former Iranian regime’s MP Alireza Zakani said in a conference held at the Rajayee Teacher Training University “there is a deadly recession in the country. Our economic problem is the issue of unemployment. Unfortunately some (regime’s officials) are not willing to work, and they don’t believe they should look for solutions within the country, either”, according to state-run ‘Javan Online’ news agency February 26.
“20 billion dollars of smuggled goods come into the country each year. With each one billion dollars, nearly one hundred thousand jobs are gone, meaning that if there’s a will to fight smuggling, one to two million jobs could be created in the country. Smuggling is not carried out by back-packs and small boats, but it is done through the country’s official entry points”, said Zakani.
On the issue of nuclear deal, Zakani said “some promises were made in the deal. It was supposed to remove the shadow of war, but it did not. Also sanctions were supposed to be lifted, but it didn’t happen, either. It’s been said recently that instead of keeping 300 kg of enriched uranium, only 100 kg is remaining in the country.”
Pointing to the regime’s poor budgeting system, saying “I was in the Parliament for 12 years. All the budgeting process was done by one person. Our budgeting system is a black box.”
It is noteworthy that Iran regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is heavily involved in all abovementioned elements in Iran’s economy, the Guards have gradually built up a gigantic business empire in various sectors of the Iranian economy, and from humble beginnings in the construction trade, they now dominate several lucrative industries. Through a myriad of holding companies, front companies and so-called “charitable foundations”, the IRGC run their huge business domain.
Having used these organizations to work around international sanctions imposed on the country, through its refusal to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of its nuclear facilities, the Guards have become very adept in the workings of the black economy, using its control of customs and excise and the docks, to set up a substantial smuggling network.
Such is the scope of the Guards enterprises, they have also ventured into the lucrative oil and gas sectors, moved into the production of consumer goods, car manufacturing, the import-export industry, telecommunications, and black market smuggling. Just like the American Mafia, the Guards have built up varied routes to smuggle goods, and are said to be in control of a string of jetties on the southern Iranian island of Qeshm, situated in the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf Coast.
The Guards also have the use of terminals at Iranian airports, to enable members of their vast workforce to fly their illicit goods in and out of the country unchecked, and whichever route they use, they are guaranteed to avoid having to pay any form of export or import duties.
Operating what has become a powerful criminal empire, the Guards have long been involved in the black market, and by shipping in and out of the country various illegal goods, which includes vast caches of weapons, they have built up a highly lucrative business. The Guards also have a large stake in the illegal drugs industry, using the vast drugs network setup by Hezbollah, which enables the IRGC Qods Force to deal with various major players throughout the world.
When you consider that sales of illegal drugs in Iran is around $3 billion per year, with the Qods Force said to be taking a sizeable cut, through the running of many of the routes in and out of the country, as well as having contacts with drug smuggling gangs in Afghanistan, and also South America through Hezbollah, their wealth is vast through this alone. So it isn’t surprising that the US Department of the Treasury had placed Qods Force Commander Gholamreza Baghbani on the US sanctions list, accusing him of being a narcotics kingpin.
Over the years, various ex-members of the IRGC, who now live in exile, have made highly credible claims, on how the corps they had served in for many years, had been dealing in vast amounts of illegal drugs, and that the global network it was running, was bringing in billions of dollars, which would then be used to pay for terrorist activities carried out by the Qods Force across the globe.