Last month, Mohammad Baghar Zolghadr, a commander at the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – Quds Force’s Ramazan military base and deputy of the judiciary, told the state-run Tasnim News agency that former IRGC-QF commander Qassem Soleimani was always able to find the money for the group’s malign actions, even when the government has trouble finding the cash, but Zolghadr refused to go into detail.
But why? If he wanted to talk about Soleimani’s ingenuity, why not show how he did it? Well, the answer may lie in some news articles over the past year concerning drugs trafficked into Europe and the Middle East.
On August 5, 2020, the National World Website wrote that “85 million narcotic pills” were confiscated in Italy, having been smuggled into Europe by the Syrian dictatorship and the Hezbollah group, both of which are backed by Iran. The drugs, which would have made 1 billion euros in profit if they’d been sold, constituted the largest narcotics shipment ever seized.
Shortly after, Orient TV affiliated with the Syrian Opposition reported on September 3, 2020, that Rumania confiscated a shipment of over 2250 kilograms in narcotics, worth an estimated $71 million, that had been shipped from Syria’s Lazeghiyah port, which is controlled by the Syrian and Iran.
While in December, Al Arabia TV reported that six Iranian sailors were arrested in Al Muhreh province, eastern Yemen, for smuggling a massive shipment of narcotics, including Heroin, Crystal Meth, and Marijuana, worth 5 billion Yamani Rails [$20.243 million].
Not that this is the first year that this happened. In 2019, German Newspaper Spiegel reported that Hezbollah secretly operates in Germany, raising money through various illicit actions, including drug smuggling, car thefts, and money laundering.
“The truth is that the institutions set up by Qassem Soleimani and Quds Terrorist force, have made huge profits by smuggling narcotics and only a small portion of it has been revealed to the press,” iranprobe.com wrote on January 26.
“Of course, the main brunt of financing expensive terrorist activities of the regime and the Quds force in the region is felt by the Iranian people, in a way that poverty and paucity, has hit all levels of the society. For instance, paying for the daily bread in parts has become part of the culture in the country,” the website added.
For Iran, preservation is done at any cost, including domestic suppression, terrorism export, and warmongering. The ayatollahs steal from Iranians and use criminal activity to fund other illicit actions, all to save the government. But they want to keep this secret.