Iran TerrorismArms smuggling linked to Tehran

Arms smuggling linked to Tehran

-

In the latest of a series of military scandals behind which is the hand of the clergy of Tehran, a secretive Iranian military unit has been smuggling weapons to extremist groups in the Middle East and North Africa according to Fox News.

This secret unity is called Unit 190, and is made up of 24 soldiers. The leader of the unit is 46-year-old Benham Shahariyari, who reportedly runs a network of front companies which skirt sanctions by smuggling RPG’s, night-vision equipment and long-range rockets in powdered milk, cement and spare vehicle parts.

In the latest of a series of military scandals behind which is the hand of the clergy of Tehran, a secretive Iranian military unit has been smuggling weapons to extremist groups in the Middle East and North Africa according to Fox News.

This secret unity is called Unit 190, and is made up of 24 soldiers. The leader of the unit is 46-year-old Benham Shahariyari, who reportedly runs a network of front companies which skirt sanctions by smuggling RPG’s, night-vision equipment and long-range rockets in powdered milk, cement and spare vehicle parts.

Michael Eisenstadt, director of Military and Security Studies programs for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has been quoted by Fox News saying, “Very often arms and explosives were placed in trucks underneath legal cargo in order to hide them.”

The smuggling has been going on for years. In 2007 a red signal was raised in Turkey when containers were intercepted with 122mm mortar shells and explosives destined for Hezbollah via Syria. Such operations violate UN Security Council Resolution 1747, and thus allows the UN to take appropriate measures as Security Council resolutions are binding on member states.

Additionally, the US Treasury had sanctioned front companies used by Unit 190 to transport weapons to Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups in the Middle East in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Reports says that in December 2010 the US Treasury designated the shipping company, Liner Transport Kish, to give material support including weapons to Hezbollah on behalf of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Explosions that rocked Khartoum in October 2012 were also caused by weapons supplied by Unit 190.

The history of smuggling arms has ended in a revolution in Yemen. In January 2013, the US Navy intercepted 40 tons of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles on board a boat named the Jeehan-1. It is assumed that these weapons were meant for the Houthis.

It is no secret that Tehran is behind the upheaval in Yemen. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby that: “We know that there is a relationship between the Houthis and Tehran. We’ve been very clear on multiple occasions about our concerns about the tentacles that Iran has throughout the region, specifically with support to groups and organizations that aren’t doing anything to increase stability in the region.”

These tentacles are not just in the Middle East but they extend to North Africa. There are reports of shipments in transit for Port Sudan to Gaza, or other points in Africa. Quds Forces activists were found in Nigeria in 2010, and rockets were smuggled to Gambia. In 2009, a former Russian ship was intercepted by the US in the Red Sea full of explosives from Iran. The whole cargo exploded in Cyprus where it was escorted.

Indeed, the illegal smuggling points to a dangerous situation developing in the region. Iran has well-established networks for the past thirty years since the Iranian Revolution. It will take time and a lot of political will to dismantle the whole operation.

Latest news

Snapback Sanctions, a Must Response to Iran’s Human Rights Abuse and JCPOA Violations

The protests in Iran have been going on for more than two months, even though the regime is cracking...

Growing Disintegration Among Iran Regime’s Forces

Iran has been shaken by a wave of nationwide protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the...

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Must read

Bush will take wish of non-nuclear Iran to the grave – official

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 20 – A senior...

Analysis: Hopes fading for Iran nuke talks

AP: The fallout from Iran's disputed presidential vote is...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you