Originally posted on the Hill by Shahriar Kia

As the new Trump administration in Washington continues to weigh how to confront Tehran’s hostilities carried out through its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Iranian opposition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference in London on Tuesday shedding important light on methods used by the IRGC to cloak its export of terrorism and smuggling activities.

According to information gathered by sources associated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) inside Iranian regime apparatus, the Guards currently own 90 docks, mainly on Iran’s southern shores. This accounts for around 45 percent of the 212 piers officially registered in Iran.

These docks are used by the IRGC to provide much-needed arms, explosives, ammunition and other such equipment to militia groupsacting on behalf of the Iranian regime as proxies throughout the Middle East. Such a policy of providing lethal ordinance by Tehran to these entities has become common knowledge, especially in the past several years.

The docks have a history dating back to the early 1980s, according to the NCRI, when Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian regime, tasked its then fledgling Guards to establish this now vast network of peers. The sought objective was meant to allow the IRGC bypass all state supervision, escape customs restrictions and keep international monitoring in the dark about its activities.

Ali Khamenei, the current Iranian regime supreme leader, has followed suit and missioned the IRGC through the past three decades to increase the number of these piers, named the “Bahman Docks” in the Iranian regime.

The Guards have taken the utmost advantage of these docks to increase their grip over Iran’s economy. Today, the IRGC is known to control a large swathe of the country’s imports and exports, literally flooding the market with cheap goods and placing the heavy burden on local production lines and trade.

Reports indicate the IRGC enjoys a shocking $12 billion in annual revenue obtained through such a network of illegal trade. Considering the force’s track record, one can easily conclude a large percentage of such money is later allocated to Iran’s support for global terrorism and regional meddlingnuclear program, ballistic missile drive and the campaign to obtain a variety of weapons of mass destruction.

The NCRI was also able to provide names and images (Enclosed), of a long slate of different docks and shipping firms, used as front companies by Iran to cloak its actual intentions. It is also worth noting the Guards have through the years gained control and ownership of numerous large oil tankers. Such assets are used to rent to foreign governments in order channel in even more revenue.

The Iranian opposition went on to add the arms transfer flow by the IRGC through the mentioned docks and shipping companies is an ongoing phenomenon. Unfortunately, the international community has only unveiled and blocked a small percentage of this dangerous trend.

These revelations come at a time of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, especially after the Trump administration placed Tehran “on notice” following a medium-range ballistic missile test on Jan. 29. Such troubles have increased following a new double ballistic missile launchconducted on Saturday and Sunday, and a new encounter caused by IRGC fast-attack boats coming within 600 yards of the U.S. Navy surveillance ship, the Invincible, in a move described as “unsafe and unprofessional” by a U.S. official.

Word in Washington continues to indicate the fact that the Trump White House, involved in a complete overhaul of the Obama administration’s failed appeasement policy, continues to weigh designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

The new Iranian opposition revelations make such a move all the more necessary.