Interception of Illicit narcotics from Iran to Iraq highlights IRGC’s role

There have been numerous previous reports regarding the role of the Iranian terrorist designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and key allies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including its affiliated militias, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, as well as the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the production, distribution, and trafficking of Illicit narcotics in the Middle East and beyond. Formerly focused on Illicit narcotics such as opium, heroin, and cannabis, this highly lucrative business later introduced some stimulants such as crack, cocaine, amphetamine, and now, Captagon pills have become its flagship substance in the Middle East.

Iraqi security forces on Friday (June 4) forced down a microlight aircraft “from Iran” that was headed towards Kuwait with one million pills of the amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon.

Iraq’s Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency said the aircraft entered Iraqi airspace from neighboring Iran.

Agents were alerted to the flight by a tip-off about a “homemade glider” and opened fire on the aircraft as it flew in Basra province in an area near the border with Kuwait, the agency said.

Since routing the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), Iraq has focused its attention on a new battleground — drug trafficking and smuggling networks facilitated by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and allied militias.

The IRGC and its proxies play a pivotal role in smuggling Illicit narcotics, political analyst Abdul Qader al-Nayel said.

“Drug trafficking is financially beneficial for the Iranians, as they reap huge profits from it, which they use to buy weapons and finance their proxies’ activities,” he said.

“The Iranian IRGC, with the help of Iraqi militias, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, manages specialized mafia-like groups that handle the production, smuggling and marketing of drugs at regional and international levels,” he said.


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