BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has threatened to burn ships smuggling fuel and goods in the Gulf waters, accusing officials in neighboring countries of supporting smuggling from Iran for political purposes.

“We warn commodity and fuel smugglers who are harming our economic system, that if you continue smuggling operations, we will burn your ships with your cargo after removing the sailors from them,” RT Arabic reported, citing the commander of the Naval Forces in the Guards, Ali Reza Tungsiri, as saying.

While inspecting the marine units on the island of Qeshm in the waters of Al-Khaij in southern Iran, Tungsiri said, “The smuggling of goods of similar nature inside the country is a blow to the local economy and leads to the closure of Iranian factories and production units.”

Tungsiri accused officials in some neighboring countries of supporting smuggling, without naming them.

He said, “The enemies have started an economic-political struggle against Iran through smuggling,”

“They should know that the Revolutionary Guards will deal with this firmly, and smuggling will not be allowed to strike the economy,” he added.

Tehran has repeatedly denounced fuel smuggling in the Gulf waters, and said last week that the coast guard clashed with weapons with smugglers, killing and injuring elements of both sides, and seizing weapons and incendiary missiles.

Smugglers usually take advantage of the collapse of the national currency in Iran and the low price of fuel in it to smuggle it to neighboring countries.

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