Iran’s leader boggled by volume of smuggling into country
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 23
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said that the volume of smuggling into the country is eccentric and mind-boggling.
He has termed figures that announced more than $20 billion worth of goods that are smuggled into Iran as eccentric and mind-boggling; adding that legal imports should not be increased under the pretext of curbing smuggling.
"One's mind is boggled (from hearing such figures). We should not open the way for importing via customs under the pretext of preventing smuggling."
Khamenei made the remarks about one month ago in a meeting with members of the committee to mark the national day of engineering, but his comments were not published until today.
Khamanei called on engineers to help make Iranian products more competitive so as not to be overtaken by imported products.
Referring to the "economy of resistance" that he has instructed to be implemented, the leader said, "The words "resistance economy" may have been used by officials more than a thousand times. However, nothing will happen just through saying. Parliament and administration should do something."
Over the recent years, some political figures, including former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and some members of the parliament, indicted that the armed forces were running docks with illegal commercial activities and having a large share of imports.
At that time, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad Ali Jafari denied any illegal commercial activities on the docks that are run by IRGC.
Habibollah Haghighi, Director of the Goods and Foreign Exchange Anti-Smuggling Headquarters, said on Jan. 22 that some $25 billion of goods were smuggled into Iran in the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2013-March 2014). According to him, legal imports amounted to $50 billion in the same period. The value of the smuggled goods is double that of the country's annual development budget, he said.
Edited by CN