Ahwazi: Homeland used as Terrorist Smuggling Route
According to an article by the correspondent Con Coughlin, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elite Qods Force, based in Ahwaz City, has set up a network of secret smuggling routes to ferry men and equipment into Iraq for attacks on coalition troops. These claims come alongside reports from Western intelligence agencies of a sharp increase in Iran's involvement in insurgent operations since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in June.
According to Coughlin, a major route is thought to be through the marshland surrounding the Shatt al-Arab waterway in southern Iraq, which enables guard units to plan attacks against British forces in Basra.
The Sunday Telegraph report comes after the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) published plans for the 155 sq km Arvand Free Zone (AFZ), a military-industrial complex along the Shatt Al-Arab.
The newspaper called the creation of the AFZ a "sinister development" which will involve the displacement of tens of thousands of indigenous Ahwazi Arabs.
In an interview with the newspaper, a BAFS spokesman said: "Apart from being a serious human rights issue, any development that involves people being displaced by force obviously has a security element to it as they clearly do not want people being too near.
"The fact that they are deciding to put this huge complex right up against the border is significant. We think this is to enable them to train and send militias over the border."