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Intelligence


NAJA Border Guard Command

Maintaining security along Iran's borders is an important role of the LEF. Brig Gen Moqaddam, LEF chief, said in August 2008 that after public security, control over Iran's borders was the biggest concern of the LEF. Iran has been stepping up security on its borders, with the LEF using what has been described as ‘modern technologies’ in order to counter drug trafficking, smuggling and the movement of individuals considered to pose a threat to state security.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holds ultimate authority over all security agencies. The Iranian system lacks transparency when it gets to relations between different security agencies. Iran's “deep state” is a semisecret network of security and intelligence officers and agents under the direct control of the Supreme Leader. The Pasdaran has permeated various agencies that are not formally part of the Guard Corps. Thus, the Air Defense Forces, nominally part of the Ministry of Defense, and the Border Guards, nominally part of the Law Enforcement Forces, and in fact led by and staffed by Pasdaran personnel.

The border guard command controls the land and sea borders. The border guards are one of the Iranian military forces and a subcomponent of the General Staff of the Armed Forces that is active in controlling the land and sea borders of the country, maintaining and maintaining border traditions, and organizing the affairs of the border guards. After the formation of the "Police Force" in the solar year 1370, the Border Guard Administration was renamed the Naja Border Guard Administration and became a subsidiary of the Security Assistance Force.

The border guard of Iran was supplied to the military almost 90 years ago by the formation of the army. In 1320, the unit provided information on the Iranian border guard gendarmerie, but after about five years, the Border Guard was established as a subsidiary of the Ministry of the Interior. A year later, the border guard was assigned to the "Ministry of War", and since 1342 this responsibility has become "the entire country's gendarmerie". Between 66 and 69, the Islamic Revolutionary Committee was responsible for the borders until it was formed in 1991, with the assembly of the committee, the gendarmerie and the police, "police force" and was responsible for protecting the borders. Drug trafficking represents a major challenge for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The geographical location of the country, particularly its porous 1,923 km-long Eastern border with Afghanistan - the world's largest illicit opium producer - and Pakistan, has turned it into a major transit country for illicit drugs. In response to this challenge, the country has built one of the strongest counter-narcotics enforcement capabilities in the region over the years. According to the UNODC World Drug Report 2014, Iran accounted for 74% of the world's opium seizures and 25% of the world's heroin and morphine seizures in 2012.

The Islamic Republic of Iran reportedly spends millions of dollars annually on border control, including for the construction of expensive barriers along its borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. More than 3,700 national law enforcement officials have been killed and over 12,000 have been maimed in counter-narcotics operations over the last three decades.

In addition to opium and heroin trafficking, the Islamic Republic of Iran also faces emerging trends of illicit production and trafficking in Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS). Over the last few years, there has been a sudden increase of reported seizures of high purity crystalline Methamphetamine (locally known as "Shisheh"). National authorities have also detected greater reliance on in-country production of ATS, mostly Methamphetamines. According to the 2014 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment, Methamphetamine trafficking from the Islamic Republic of Iran to East and South-East Asia also appears to have spread to Europe.

Press TV, the English language news organisation of the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), reported 06 April 2009 that the IRGC took over the responsibility for maintaining security in Iran’s eastern regions from the police. Iran’s Revolution Guards Corps took over the security of the country's eastern regions, Iran’s police chief has announced. ‘The fight against terrorists and bandits in eastern Iran will be handed over to IRGC; therefore Iran's Police Force will end its mission in the region,’ Iran's police chief Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi-Moqaddam told reporters in a press briefing. Jundullah terrorist organization has orchestrated terrorist attacks against high-profile Iranian figures, particularly government and security officials as well as civilians in Iran's eastern borders. Militants of the Jundullah ring regularly cross over into Iran from their hideouts in neighboring Pakistan to harass, kidnap or attack civilians and police officers. Last June the group abducted 16 Iranian police officers at a checkpoint in the southeastern city of Saravan in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province. The hostages were reportedly taken to Pakistan where they faced execution in early December.

Since 2016 the Iranian authorities became increasingly suspicious of, and sensitive to, Kurdish political activity. Those of Kurdish ethnicity are thus regarded with even greater suspicion than hitherto and are reasonably likely to be subjected to heightened scrutiny on return to Iran. The Kolbar are Kurdish smugglers who carry low-value goods across the mountainous Iran-Iraq border. Many residents of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Western Azerbaijan are struggling to meet their basic needs; as a result, a lot of them, young and old, are forced into ‘Kolbari’ (in other words, the carriage of heavy goods, on horsebacks or own backs) across the mountains, central lands, and turbulent rivers; and ultimately risk losing their lives. There are nearly 80000 ‘Kolbars’ in Iran now. Taking into account their family members too, approximately 400000 people are involved in the occupation of ‘Kolbari’; millions of businesses, shops, and sectors, are also impacted by them, directly and indirectly. Every year, dozens of ‘Kolbars’ are shot dead or wounded by the security forces of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

By some reports, 231 Kurdish cross-border porters (Kolbars) were either killed or seriously wounded in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) in 2018. The border guard commander, Sardar Qasem Rezaie, defended the killing of kolbars by the border guards while stating that commuters crossing illegal borders will be shot by border guards. In December 2018 he called kolbars “smugglers” while maintaining that “smuggling” of goods is not a job and anyone crossing the unofficial areas has stepped over the “red line” of border guards. In other words, Qasem Rezaie believes that the border guards are merely conforming to the regulations and supports their action.

At least 10 Iranian border guards were killed in an overnight attack by unidentified gunmen near the border with Iraq, according to media in Iran. The incident took place 20 July 2018 near the town of Marivan, in a Kurdish area of Iran some 620km west of the capital, Tehran. "The attack by the evil rebels and terrorists against a revolutionary border post and the explosion of a munitions depot caused the martyrdom of 10 fighters," a statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency, said. Provincial security official Hosein Khosheqbal told state television that 11 members of the Guards' voluntary Basij forces were killed in the overnight violence in Marivan, which he blamed on the Kurdish armed opposition group The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

As of 2019, the commander of the country's border guard is a General of the Revolutionary Guard, Qasem Reza'i. This military organization was operating as a part of the police force by July 1398, after which the centralized border guard structure was approved and communicated by the Iranian leader. Following the appointment of Brig. Gen. Hossein Zolfaghari as the Deputy Chief of Security and Police of the Ministry of the Interior, on 30 January 2019 the commander of the police, Sardar Qasem Rezaie, was appointed as the commander of the border guard of the law enforcement force, according to the correspondent of the events of the journalists' club. This is despite the fact that Reza'i was previously a commander of the border guard of the security force.

Hours after the Iranian border guards announced the separation of forces from the IRGC on 30 June 2019, another official denied the news. According to the site of the Iranian Police in 2000, "with the special importance of border and borderline problems on the borderline of the country," a new structure called the "Naja Commander" was established with the approval of the commander-in-chief. General Gassim Reza'i has said the border guard of Iran "has eight thousand and 755 kilometers of border with 15 neighboring countries, whose favorable monitoring on these borders requires a large border guard." According to Rezai, Iran ranked third in terms of the number of neighbors after China and Russia, but "in terms of the borderline with the number of neighbors ranked first in the world."

Lt. Col. Abul Ghasem Khatami, deputy head of the Navy's border guards commanding, said that the commander of the border guard, Brigadier Qasem Rezaie, "has been informed by the Iranian leader about the new structure of the commanding force of the border guards of the law enforcement" and that he is not supposed to separate the border guard from the police.

The Iranian government news agency (IRNA) reported that Mr. Reza'i announced the adoption of a "centralized and independent" border-crossing structure and communicated by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He called the border separation of the police "the most important success and medal of honor for border guards, police and armed forces." But the IRNA news agency after a few hours removed the news and released another news quoted by Mr. Rezaie. Where the word "independent" has been deleted.

The highest organizational unit in the border guard is the border guard commander located in the capital ; next, the border commander of the province is located in the border provinces; the border commander of each province has one or more border regiments, each border regiment has several border companies, each border company has several border checkpoints.




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Page last modified: 24-07-2019 19:20:28 ZULU