Kurdpa report on Iran’s smuggling operations
In the last few months, Kurdistan Press Agency reporters have obtained credible information in regards to illegal importation of anti-riot gears (Baton, Shield and Helmet) through the unofficial routes of Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq into Iran.
Kurdpa reporter from the city of Baneh, quoting one local resident stated that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is smuggling anti-riot gears from China using local merchants.
Some of the actual anti-riot gears being smuggled.
Another source speaking to Kurdpa on the condition of anonymity confirmed: IRGC is contracting out the smuggling of these components to dealers who bring goods from China into Iran and baton, shield, and helmet are among those items brought in.
Due to the sensitivity of the matter and also the special security and police atmosphere in Kurdistan, the sources were not able to identify the companies manufacturing or selling the equipments.
The mystery of the manufactures and sellers emanates from the claims that these equipments get purchased in the black market and get smuggled from Iraq through Kurdistan and into Iran in complete secrecy.
One source from the city of Baneh familiar with the smuggling operation stated: The IRGC prepays the dealers, and in return, the dealers purchase the anti-riot gears from China and transport them - through illegal channels - to the borders of Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, and then to Iranian Kurdistan transport hubs and from there they are loaded into unmarked containers to Tehran and other destinations.
Some of the containers that are used for transporting these smuggled goods.
The source confirmed to Kurdpa that these containers, once loaded, get sealed and transported to unknown locations with special transit waiver from IRGC to avoid inspection at various check points.
There are other available reports on other related illegal cross-border trades; however, due to lack of enough evidence, Kurdpa has refrained from publishing them.
Currently, Iranian officials regard Iraq as their number one trading partner.
In a recent Iran-Iraq officials’ visit in Tehran, the assistant secretary to the Iran-Iraq Trade Development stated that Iraq is currently Islamic Republic’s number one trading partner, and to increase trade between the two countries even further, we should have more transparent and simple bilateral banking and insurance exchanges.
On the level of economic trade between Iran and Iraq, this Iranian trade official highlighted that aside from regional and political engagement that we have with Iraq, Iraq is our utmost important market, and we have been Iraq’s old friend and partner and this relationship will remain unchanged.
Amir Shariati, the assistant secretary to the Iran-Iraq Trade Development emphasized Iraq’s regional role and the trade growth between the two neighbours.
Shariati called the 37 percent growth in bilateral exchanges of goods a slap in the sanctions policy of the West against Iran.
In the process of crippling sanctions against Iran, the official and unofficial trade routes between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan have played a major role in relieving Iran from strident economic sanctions.