For decades, the Iranian Resistance has warned the world community about how Tehran circumvents international sanctions imposed on it due to its malign activities. This fact was once again confirmed after documents published recently by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), obtained through its main constituent group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) network inside Iran.
As per the Iranian regime’s budget law, a considerable portion of the budget allocated for the Ministry of Defense and support for the Iranian armed forces comes from the direct sale of oil by the ministry. To circumvent international sanctions and fund its military operations, Iran’s Ministry of Defense (SATA in Persian) is using the sale of oil through Ghadir Holding, its subsidiary, according to a highly confidential letter from SATA Intelligence Protection.
The letter warns of foreign companies acting as intelligence agents seeking to identify SATA-affiliated companies and how they bypass the sanctions to hit a blow to the “economic body of the armed forces.” Ghadir Holding owns more than 130 companies, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, electricity production and transmission, transportation services, cement production, building construction, and information technology.
“According to the comprehensive instructions for outsourcing and organizing the network of defense partners of the armed forces and the notification of the General Staff of the National Army No. 1224/3/1550/232 dated August 16, 2014, regarding ‘non-cooperation with prohibited companies, industries should ensure that they do not enter into contracts with suppliers who do not meet the specified qualifications or are below the required level under any title (such as factoring and consulting), and industries must carry out the necessary checks before entering into any agreement.’ Therefore, entering into a contract with prohibited companies and cooperating with them can potentially cause both security and economic harm to SATA and other economic entities,” the letter dated September 24, 2021, reads in this regard.
Officials underlined that foreign companies engaged in intelligence gathering and espionage are trying to identify SATA-affiliated companies to prevent them from bypassing the sanctions. Therefore, the letter prohibits certain companies from doing business with SATA to avoid their role in exposing the circumvention of sanctions.
The CEO of SATA, IRGC Brigadier Dr. Seyed Majid ibn-ol-Reza, oversees the sale of oil by Ghadir’s subsidiaries. SATA plays the primary role in the oil and gas sales and processing chain of the Ministry of Defense to evade sanctions and earn currency for the regime, according to the confidential letter.
In another document, dated January 29, 2023, Ghadir Holding sent a letter to the CEOs of its subsidiaries. The letter titled “Companies without security clearance and prohibited from trading” identifies the companies involved in illegal transactions to bypass the sanctions by the Ministry of Defense of the Iranian regime.
These documents highlight the Ministry of Defense’s covert and complex methods to circumvent international sanctions and fund its military operations. The sale of oil through Ghadir Holding and its subsidiaries poses a significant challenge to international efforts to curb Iran’s support for terrorist organizations and its development of nuclear weapons.
It is worth noting that on Wednesday, the NCRI’s U.S. Representative office exposed classified documents received by the MEK network, revealing information about the Petrochemical Commercial Company International (PCCI). PCCI is an important organ of the Iranian regime used in the field of oil and petrochemicals to bypass sanctions.
The documents show that the facilities of this organization, which is under the control of the regime’s Armed Forces, are clearly used to finance the regime’s belligerence and terrorism abroad and repression at home. PCCI sells assigned crude oil for the Armed Forces General Staff, Venezuelan oil, and exported urea from the Ministry of Defense to Yemen (Houthis). PCCI also accompanies the Ministry of Defense delegation to Syria to supply oil. The Iranian Resistance’s latest revelation once exposes the Iranian regime as an unscrupulous actor, brazenly flouting sanctions, trampling on international law, bankrolling terrorist activities overseas, and ruthlessly suppressing dissent within its own borders.
The recent revelations about the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program, support for terror networks, and disregard for sanctions are stark reminders of the grave consequences of the West’s policy of appeasement. Every dollar that enters the regime’s coffers is a direct investment in terrorism, violence, and oppression, perpetuating a regime that the Iranian people have unequivocally rejected. The time for the West to take a strong stance against this regime is long overdue. It’s time to demonstrate unwavering support for the Iranian people’s aspirations for a better future by enforcing all six U.N. Security Council resolutions and condemning the regime’s malign activities in the strongest possible terms.