According to a recent report by the anti-regime People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), nearly half of all Iranian shipping docks are operated by the regime’s military, while it is uses shell companies to smuggle weapons and other illicit goods.
Reportedly, a total of 90 docks have been taken over by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who use them to circumvent sanctions and fund terrorist activities. “The IRGC uses these docks for its unlawful activities,” PMOI officials said in a statement. “Based on the direct order of the current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, no authority is allowed to oversee the activities of the IRGC at border areas, be it on the ground, sea or air, and it can import anything in any quantity without paying any customs fee.”
The PMOI says that the Revolutionary Guard smuggles oil, gas, chemical products, cigarettes, narcotics, alcohol, mobile phones, pharmaceuticals, hygiene material and energy drugs and supplements, to fund its activities. The group estimates that importing and exporting these illicit goods nets the IRGC some $12 billion annually.
The IRGC controls the trade vessels that use these docks to transfer goods and other equipment, as well as arms, to other countries, without fear of international supervision. “These docks play a key role in the regime’s efforts to evade sanctions," said MEK officials. “Investigations by PMOI sources within the regime concluded that unlawful exports of arms to proxy forces in the region are carried out through these docks.”
Three organizations were identified by PMOI sources as shipping companies being used as fronts for smuggling weapons to other countries, in particular, Yemen. They include the Admiral Group, Hafez Daya Arya and Valfajr.
While Yemani docks are closed to Iranian ships, ports in nearby Oman, such as Soltan Qaboos Port in Muscat, Sohar Port in North Oman and Salalah Port in South Oman are used by the IRGC’s shell companies, the PMOI alleges.
The group also charges that the IRGC is also operating along the Persian Gulf, in ports in the Hormozgan and Bushehr Provinces, as well as the Farsi and Faror Islands.
The new revelations of the PMOI investigation comes while the Trump administration considers designating the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group.
It also comes alongside the release of an extensive study on the “Destructive role” of the IRGC in the Middle East region by the European Iraqi Freedom Association [EIFA]. In their report, EIFA alleges that the IRGC is “directly involved in the hidden occupation” of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon and “meddling” in the internal affairs of at least eight countries, including Egypt, Bahrein, Jordan and Lebanon.