New evidence reveals that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been using civilian flights to transport its fighters and those of affiliated militias to Damascus, an Iranian affairs expert told Diyaruna.
This is a clear violation of provisions of resolutions on the transfer of arms and fighters issued by the UN and the US Treasury, said Sheyar Turko, who studies the funding and proliferation methods of the IRGC.
Photographs of IRGC-affiliated militias being transported aboard Iran Air have been published in regional and international newspapers, websites and on social media accounts, with the airline company’s logo clearly visible.
These photos, some of which were taken in 2016 and others in mid-2017, confirm that fighters from the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade have been transported aboard Iranian civil aircraft, he said.
"They present clear evidence of Iran’s provocative actions," he said, "as they show that Iranian civil aircraft transported IRGC-affiliated fighters from airports in Iran to airports in Syria to take part in the ongoing war."
This is a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1747 (2007), 1929 (2010) and 2105 (2013), he said.
UN Resolution 1747 stipulates that "Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels of aircraft any arms or related material".
These actions also violate US Treasury designations issued in 2012 pursuant to Executive Orders 13572 and 13224 related to the transfer of military equipment, weapons and fighters aboard civil aircraft to Syria, Turko added.
The UN and US are expected to issue new sanctions in light of this activity, he said, "as it has become a repeat offense and contributes to prolonging the Syrian war and strengthening the presence of terrorist-designated groups in Syria".
By allowing these photos to be published, Turko said, it is obvious that the IRGC wants to challenge the international community, as it could have prohibited their publication or prevented them from being taken.