Waging Jihad by Other Means: Iran’s Drug Business and its Role within the International Crime-Terror Nexus

Casaca, Paulo ; Wolf, Siegfried O.

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Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran has been a state sponsor of terrorism worldwide. The production and trade of narcotics has been a key to this enterprise. The respective logistics function as a main infrastructure for Iran’s global export of Jihadism and is an early example of the growing crime-terror nexus. On behalf of the country’s clerical regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in particular its Quds Force (QF), as well as the Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij (or Basiji) and its international proxies, are running Iran’s global drug business. Its focus is on the Middle East and the US, but it is not geographically limited, as it also includes regions such as South and Central Asia and Europe. For some time now, Latin America has also become a launch pad for subversive activities in the US. Illegal drug trade is not managed by stray members of Iran’s state apparatus it is a core interest and a central element of its policy. Research shows that the so-called anti-drug campaign promoted by Iran’s security agencies is not aimed at eradicating drug trade production and consumption; it is used to ruthlessly eliminate competing actors in the drug business, and sometimes to eliminate political opposition and to suppress ethnic and religious minorities. Whereas the international community has been fixated with delaying the completion of Iran’s nuclear programme, the survey argues for a reinforced emphasis on Iran’s involvement in illegal drug trade and connected crime.

Document type: Book
Publisher: SADF - South Asia Democratic Forum
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2017
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021
Number of Pages: 26
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Military science
Commerce, communications, transport
Controlled Keywords: Dschihadismus, Terrorismus, Drogenhandel
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iran, Korps der Islamischen Revolutionsgarden, IRGC, Quds Force, Rauschgift, Drogenhandel, Drogenproduktion, Terrorismus, Narco-Terrorismus, Dschihadismus, Kriminalität, Afghanistan, USA, Lateinamerika / Iran, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, Quds Force, Narcotics, Drug Trade, Drug Production, Terrorism, Narco-Terrorism, Jihadism, Crime, Afghanistan, US, Latin America
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: other countries
Series: Themen > SADF Working Papers
Volume: 5