With an annual production of several million tons, Iran is among the world’s top producers of bitumen, a fuel grade that is typically used in applications such as road surfacing, roofing and certain types of paint.

As Iran Open Data reported on July 10, most of the national production is distributed free of charge to state-owned entities and affiliates of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be used for construction and infrastructure projects.

However, available data suggest that most of this free bitumen is smuggled or sold out of Iran to neighboring countries, enriching IRGC-linked middlemen, the collaborative initiative said.

It cited a report by Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, as showing that nearly 65 percent, or 2.5 million tons, of the bitumen provided gratis to contractors, government agencies and the paramilitary Basij force ends up being exported illicitly.

Source » tasnimnews