During 2019 and 2020, Iran faced its worst economic crisis in 40 years, all the while it was trying to seize as much property in Syria.
Iran’s oil production decreased from 2.5 million barrels to less than 300 thousand barrels per day and was unable to restore foreign exchange trading through official channels while its local currency continued to collapse.
Official data show a sharp decline in the standard of living of the Iranian citizen, who resorts to searching for scarce foreign currency to avoid unemployment and inflation.
At the end of 2018, the Iranian Students’ News Agency indicated in one of its periodic bulletins that illegal business activities, such as smuggling food, meat, bread, and oil across the borders of neighboring countries, have increased within Iran’s official institutions. While narcotics, hashish, Captagon, heroin, and cocaine take the lead in the most smuggled goods in the areas controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime and under Iranian influence in Syria.
Iranian authorities continue to blackmail the international community regarding the nuclear deal, using drugs for political gain. In late 2019, the Iranian anti-drug police chief expressed their “fear” of the overflowing of drugs towards Europe and requested that aid be provided for Iran to combat smuggling to continue, warning against any reduction of efforts to deal with the issue.
Between 2005 and 2011, authorities in Ecuador, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Germany managed to discover large drug shipments and to arrest many members of drug smuggling networks working for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. A commercial plane was discovered taking off from Venezuela every week loaded with cash and drugs bound for Tehran after passing through Damascus.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.