Emmanuel Razavi calls the Islamic Republic of Iran a “narco-state” for smuggling he says its Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carries out to finance terrorist activities abroad and to enrich its members and friends abroad elite According to Razavi, a Middle East writer who recently investigated for Paris Match magazine, the regime, which preaches adherence to strict Islamic principles, employs morality police, bans alcohol and has no no problem bringing drugs to international customers. Razavi claims that Iran’s smuggling trade is widespread and also includes significant traffic in gold.
“Some planes of an Iranian company called Mahan Air are traveling with weapons, gold and money inside,” Razavi told Fox News. “Lots of gold. Large quantities. It goes to different countries, is washed and transformed into cash in Turkey, in Istanbul, on the black market.”
Mahan Air is run by the Revolutionary Guard and sanctioned by the United States. Razavi then says that this money, according to what he describes as a network of informants he has dealt with on the ground, is put into the bank accounts of people not necessarily in the regime, but friends and family, sometimes in countries friendly to the West. Maybe it’s a life insurance policy if things eventually go wrong.
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Razavi’s story echoes what Israeli defense sources have highlighted in recent months — that Venezuela is sending gold to Iran as payment for oil that Iran can’t sell elsewhere — and after the gold ‘enters third countries. The cash goes to funding Hezbollah and its nefarious activities, which are also, to some extent, the regime’s life insurance, keeping the proxy wars hot and away from Iran’s actual territory.
While some sources say this movement of planes and gold is constant, Razavi’s research, which he says comes from people who cannot be named because of the sensitive nature of their work and the repressive nature of the Iran, indicates that Iranian smugglers are moving more gold since the demonstrations. began happening last fall after the death of twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini. The young woman had been arrested for not wearing the hijab properly and died in police custody.
“There was a kind of progression of all these flights. We understood from some sources that the mullahs were concerned about what happened regarding the demonstrations. This is probably the reason why they decided to put money out of Iran, mixing the regime’s money with their own money. It means the regime is worried about the future.”
A large group of Revolutionary Guard commanders apparently tried to discuss these concerns with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei a few months ago, but details of that contentious meeting have only recently been leaked, presumably because of the incendiary nature of the content.
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Commanders are said to have complained about having to crack down on protesters. This makes them increasingly ashamed because in some cases their wives, children and neighbors take part in the demonstrations, explains former Iranian diplomat Mehrdad Khonsari. And in the now famous meeting, the commanders openly criticized those around them who are filling their pockets with goods that are effectively stolen. It was said that some members of the IRGC are no longer able to make ends meet, as according to some estimates, Iran’s inflation is 47%, while relatives of other sports watches are worth the equivalent of five years’ salary of the average. foot soldier
“The exhibition of this type of dialogue is completely unprecedented. It provides a window that the people of Iran had not seen, and the government was naturally quite anxious to stifle the publication or talk more about this issue because it clearly does not bode well for the regime,” Khonsari added .
Hamed Mohammadi says the morale problem extends to Iran’s regular armed forces of which he was a member. Mohammadi, who now lives in exile and writes for the London-based newspaper Kayhan, claims that the average salary of an officer is only four hundred dollars a month and says that the cost of food in Iran is as high as in London or Western Europe. When they’re not moonlighting, driving taxis or guarding the high-rise towers of the wealthy in northern Tehran, some in the military are selling information, according to Mohammadi.
“Disgruntled agents reveal the regime’s secret information. They sabotage,” says Mohammadi. They reveal the path of movement of Qassem Soleimani (former head of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force killed in Iraq) or Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (current leader of Iran’s military nuclear research program, also killed.) How does Israel know what is going on at the nuclear facilities?
Mohammadi believes there is also competition between the Revolutionary Guard and the regular army. He reports, from what his old contacts tell him, high levels of divorce and depression in the ranks of the military. Still, Mohammadi says, fear keeps the disaffected from full rebellion.
Khonsari adds: “The government is in total control as we speak. They are not on the verge of collapse. But the fact is that they are also unable to solve any of the key problems that have to do with people’s lives. So the their continuation in power has no long-term prospects because they are unable to do anything unless they change their policies in a serious way.”
And if the recent decision to crack down even more on women who refuse to wear the hijab — using cameras and facial recognition to track them — after months of violent protests and hundreds of deaths is any indication, the regime has no no thought exchange rate.