March 7th, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Iranian general sanctioned as drug trafficker

By Jamie Crawford

The United States imposed sanctions Wednesday on a senior member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Qods Force and designated him as a narcotics trafficker, the first such designation of an Iranian official.

Gen. Gholamreza Baghbani, the current chief of the ICRG-QF office in Zahedan, Iran, has allowed Afghan narcotics traffickers to smuggle opiates through his zone of operations in exchange for money, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

Zahedan is located in the southeastern part of Iran near the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Today's action exposes IRGC-QF involvement in trafficking narcotics, made doubly reprehensible here because it is done as part of a broader scheme to support terrorism. Treasury will continue exposing narcotics traffickers and terrorist supporters wherever they operate," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.

Afghan traffickers moved weapons to the Taliban on Baghbani's behalf in return for the opening of routes in Iran that allowed heroin processing chemicals to come across the Iranian border, the Treasury Department said. Baghbani has also helped facilitate the shipment of opium into Iran, the statement said.

Baghbani was designated under the so-called Kingpin Act, which seeks to target the financial networks of significant narcotics traffickers. More than 1,000 individuals have been designated by Treasury through the act since 2000.

All U.S. citizens are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with Baghbani as a result of the designation, and all of his assets under U.S. jurisdiction are also frozen.

soundoff (27 Responses)
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  9. Michael Wensink

    The Iranians hang drug traffickers in large numbers and they are seldom Iranian. Iran is a transit country like Mexico. This is highly improbable, it is considered unislamic to traffic in narcotics.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  10. Funny bone

    "All of his assets in US are frozen" All of the (none) assets that he does not have in the US are frozen.
    That is going to "hurt" him a lot. Losing asets that he does not have in the US.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  11. SomeBode

    hi , it is not true . im sure this can not be true . iranian people are Debonair . it can NOT be ture .
    did u know iranian are cultural people? they are growing very vast now .

    March 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  12. bl4ck0utsUn

    Now they are drug runners too? Next they will be avaiding taxes! From what I understand about muslims, drug use would be a sin! However, not viagra! LOL

    March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  13. mipolitic

    gone daffy gadaffy had his own drug runners too, the only thing with iran guy playing the game he could set up trade route to and from north america and he could make a return to customer service with a big bang.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  14. Ivan

    How about all of the Drugs we are helping the Afghans sell.

    We are allowing them to openly grow opium and make heroin.

    So the Afghans or the USA is not guilty. Interesting.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  15. alan

    The US is building a case for war.....Iranians don't know what's coming.....say goodbye

    March 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • USA

      When war does come, say goodbye to israel – it will be raining Russian and Chinese Nukes on tel-aviv.


      come on WW3 Baby – there will be no more zionists.

      Rothchilds can whoop the Russians or the Chinese.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • barba

        I believe in Israel's statement; "never again".

        March 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Hey if he wants to deal drugs he needs to move to mexico so the US can help to distribute it. WE JUST WANT TO HELP!!!

    March 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  17. Kevin

    Of course our drug lords dont like their drug lords! Are we supposed to be Supprized!

    March 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  18. mehrdad

    iran will dismiss the accusation publicly, but privately some officials will zero in on this general's actions and if they come to conclusion that he is into drugs he will lose it. Despite what they say about the US publicly, they also know that US usually bases its accusations on facts.

    March 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • Queef

      How delusional.

      March 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Pepe

      Yup, like when they acused Saddan of having WoMD

      March 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  19. Queef

    The Treasury Departments just pissed that they're not getting their cut.

    March 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  20. George Washington Warned Us To Avoid Getting Into Foreign Entanglements

    Add the CIA and George Bush Senior for Dealing Drugs. Let's not forget Ronald Reagan's drug dealing history. Iran-Contra Affair.


    C'mon, CNN, stop with the war mongering and smear tactics.

    You can't trust CNN.

    March 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply

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