The YCIW And Peace Organizations Discuss Iran's Policy In Destabilizing Security In The Region
On the sidelines of the 47th UNHCR session, the Yemeni Coalition for Independent Women and European Organizations Allied for Peace in Yemen organized a symposium on the policy of the Iranian regime in destabilizing security in the region, with drug smuggling as a model. Organizations
The event was held at the Conference Center in Geneva on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 15:00 Geneva time. It was attended by 18 people. The event was chaired by Mr. Faisal Al-Faifi, the President of the European Organizations Allied for Peace in Yemen. The Speakers included Irina Tsukerman, lawyer and national security expert, Mr. Mansour Al-Shadadi, President of the European-Yemeni House for Human Rights, and Nasser Al-Qatari, the President of the Yemeni-Dutch Center for Human Rights.
Mr. Faisal Al-Qaifi opened the symposium, pointing out that the Iranian regime is a totalitarian, rogue regime that does not respect international laws and relies on inciting sectarian tendencies to interfere in the affairs of states, and that the Iranian regime is working to export terrorism to the countries of the region to destabilize their security and stability under the slogan “Exporting the revolution, exporting terrorism.”
Speaking about the economic impact on the region due to the expansion of the drug trafficking network, Irina Tsukerman said: “The Houthis are modeling their governance and economic management style on Hezbollah, which in turn reports directly to Iran’s leadership. The model relies heavily on drug trafficking and other forms of crime as a form of fundraising for war aims. and terrorism. This results in widespread corruption, draining people’s resources, creating shadow economies and corrupt distribution, and leading to infrastructure problems such as frequent power cuts.The Houthis and their affiliated clans occupy the top of the food chain and attack Yemeni coffers in search of personal gain and gain related to Iran, leaving the rest The people in a state of starvation are the ones who caused it."
She mentioned that the Houthis control more than 60-70% of the Yemeni people and this left the economy in Houthi-controlled areas in disarray. They rely on the banking structure of corrupt Ponzi schemes in order to move forward and pave the way for their favorite families; and despite US Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking's recent claim that the Houthis have legitimacy in Yemen, this statement is dangerous and helps Iran and other proxies. Drug smuggling also allows the Houthis to penetrate new markets, and recruit followers abroad. Organizations
Irina also mentioned that drug shipments from Yemen that were intercepted by the Arab coalition heading to Saudi Arabia could have been spread among the Yemeni immigrant communities, there and to the general population in an attempt to corrupt, contain and weaken them.She concluded her speech by saying, "The spread of drugs by the Houthis has destroyed local communities and economies. Moreover, it is an effective way to recruit naive or disaffected followers, who then become addicted and ignore their own interests in following the Houthis. The Houthis are increasingly developing in their intelligence and military capabilities, as they use this method for blackmail in recruitment.
Irina cited the following reason for Houthis emerging as a new drug trafficking force in the region and beyond:
First, drug trafficking is an effective method of supporting Hezbullah and Iran regime. It’s a money making scheme already successfully implemented by Hezbullah, but due to sanctions on Iran, it is not sufficient, and Iran now seeks to utilize all of its proxies and partners as cash cows.
Second, it drugs help recruit followers among Yemenis, because Houthis entice children with drugs, and also give drugs to adult followers to make them more compliant and to make them more fierce in fighting.
Third, drug trafficking helps recruit followers abroad and to destabilize enemy states. Iran’s goal is to become a religious authority alternative to Mecca and the Saudi Custodianship of the Two Holy Mosques; Tehran is unlikely to achieve that end by ideological outreach only or through fighting. However, if it demoralizes and weakens communities in Sunni countries, the people there are more likely to fall into line. Therefore, Houthis & other proxies are seeking to send drugs to Eastern Saudi Arabia where Iran operates among Shi’a communities, to the Yemeni communities in KSA, to disaffected young people, and to anyone else they can reach in the region. Organizations
Fourth, drug trafficking helps integrate Houthis into Iran’s international network of proxies, making them interchangeable, helping create smooth global operations, and provide logistical support and other forms of assistance, strengthening the global supply chain of narcotics, and expanding its reach. Houthis are increasingly working not only with Hizbullah and IRGC in the immediate local vicinity but are expanding their reach to Hamas, and even beyond that to other parts of the world such as North Africa, where they work in tandem with Polisario, an Iran & Hezbullah backed, armed, and trained separatist terrorist organization attacking Morocco’s borders, and which in turn is involved in various forms of human trafficking which then leads to drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and other criminal operations in support of terrorism and engages with other terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Resulting networks share best practices, intelligence, secret passageways, and designated personnel. Furthermore, new creative collaborations and side schemes emerge, such as cigarette smuggling and car smuggling, both operations invented by Hizbullah. However, Houthis specializing in pulverized tobacco can soon be joining in.
Fifth, drug trafficking establishes additional bases of support all over the world, creating tightening communities, facilitators, and assistants wherever the need arises to plot an operation, divert attention, corrupt, coopt, or evade authorities, or otherwise receive local ground game assistance. Such networks open doors and build up communities and entire economies. Drug trafficking requires more than just middlemen and facilitators, but also armies of lawyers, medical professionals, scientists, corrupt police officers, and other professionals. As a result of such activity, shadow economies and states-within-a-state emerge, weakening local governance, exploiting corruption and other vulnerabilities, and destabilizing even Western countries politically and economically. This fits perfectly with Iran’s overall agenda of demoralizing its enemies and exporting the Islamic Revolution. Organizations
Sixth, and finally, drug trafficking allows to export ideology and establish information links far beyond mere financially incentivized recruitment, Irina continues, pointing out that while the link between drug trafficking and terrorism is well known and increasingly publicly acknowledged, the use of drugs to spread Houthi propaganda and Khomeinist principles far beyond the borders of either country remains to be investigated. However, shared roles in business gives cover and a sense of affinity which facilitates the recruitment of otherwise unlikely, non-religious, and non-ideological targets.
Irina concluded by saying that it is vital to understand that Houthis are becoming an increasingly dangerous and global force; that until now it was seen as a local insurgency presenting only a limited threat to an isolated number of targets; however, with its growing role in the global drug market, it will soon have both the means and the reach to expand its role globally as Hizbullah and IRGC have done, presenting direct and immediate danger to anyone anywhere.
Mr. Nasser spoke about the effects and consequences of exploiting those commodities (drugs) as sources of income for armed groups. He mentioned the Shalamcheh port and Umm Qasr port on the border between Iraq and Iran, and that they are the most dangerous outlets for drug smuggling, and that the Iranian regime and Hezbollah do not stop developing drug trade and smuggling to Western countries, and recently seized 16 kilos of drugs smuggled from Iran through a fish shipment to Kuwait, 2.5 million Captagon pills smuggled inside pomegranate fruit coming from Lebanon, and heroin coming from Iran to Bulgaria at a value of 22 million dollars . Organizations
He said: "Iran smuggles drugs to its groups and its loyalists everywhere, including the Houthi militias, to numb its followers and throw them into battlefields on behalf of Iran and to denigrate its opponents. Captagon and ecstasy pills were found among some of the prisoners and killed Houthi militia."
He talked about violent crimes in society since the coup of the Houthi terrorist militia, such as the Al-Aghbari case and the recent attempt to assassinate his lawyer, and the crime of recruiting children, as the Houthi militias in Yemen have distinguished themselves and announced clearly in their marches, activities and effectiveness, the last of those events (summer camps) and spreading the culture of Racism and ego, he mentioned that there is a close relationship between drugs and other dangers to societies such as terrorism, where terrorism poses a major threat to international peace and security, and terrorist acts are the final product of operations that often begin with a tendency to extremism and the formation of extremist ideas and acceptance of violence as a means of trying to change .
Mr. Mansour spoke about the Iranian regime's policy of destabilizing security and stability and said: "Since the mullahs' regime came to power after the Iranian revolution in 1979, there were two main factors that preoccupied the Iranian regime. The first factor is how to maintain the regime and its survival, and thus suppress any threat The other factor is how to export the revolution and follow a strategy with clear definitions and goals and open to all.This strategy relies on political and financial support, and then move to operational support after the Arab Spring revolutions, for the actors who mostly consist of rebel militias that differ With their governments, whether politically or ideologically, and sometimes regionally. Organizations
He talked about Iran establishing some of these arms, and others are emergency partners. Iran exploits many factors to bring them under Khomeini's cloak and thus benefit from them in achieving the goals of exporting the revolution. Since its inception in the 1980s, the principal architect of this strategy has been the Quds Force whose mission is to coordinate and support the work of the militias. In addition, some particularly advanced groups, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah or the Iraqi Badr Organization, have played an active role in structuring the Iranian paramilitary network in the Middle East. Having achieved undeniable successes in Syria against the revolutionaries and the Syrian resistance to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in Iraq under the cover of the war against the Islamic State and even in Yemen under the pretext of social and economic demands, and then moving to work And achieve gains under the banner of fighting the Saudi and American aggression. Although there is a growing political and social protest condemning and confronting these militias, voices in Iran itself as well as in the countries in which they are deployed such as Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, these militias remain the largest controller in the obstruction of security and political, military and economic chaos in the countries in which they are located.
He talked about Iran's quest to restore the glories of the ancient Persian empires, and that sectarian motives are one of the drivers of the Iranian approach, which is based on providing support to those included by allies, most of whom are militias or Shiite armed factions, and Iran provides this support and justifies it as aid to the oppressed in the region.He stated that these measures led to a significant complication in the political and economic relations that lie behind the conflicts in the region, and clearly showed how Iran is playing the role and exploiting the opportunities available to it to destabilize security and sustain the "basic conflicts." Organizations
He stated that the Arab countries and the main players in the Middle East must adopt a fortification policy and an offensive strategy to confront the Iranian role.He concluded by saying that there should be pressure to stop the export of terrorism, and the international community should take a serious stand to prevent this terrorism. There must be a real project to confront terrorism, which will harm the interests of the Arab nation, and stop applying double standards on the issue of terrorism, as they deal positively with Shiite terrorist militias and groups.
Interventions: Dr. Arwa Al-Khattabi, President of the Broken Chair Organization for Mine Victims in YemenThe topics are new and dangerous, and there are not only officially recognized drugs, but there are drugs inside Yemen that were used by the Houthis, such as qat and bardakhan, which is a dangerous powder with narcotic substances and pills added to it. The danger to children who are recruited after accustoming them to these types of drugs. Organizations