Behnam Shahariari

Full name: Morallo Behnam Shahariari, born in 1969.

Shahariari uses the following aliases:

Hojatollah Narimani

Mirvakili Seyed Ali Akbar, passport no. T29144438, N15721250.

Shahariari is a senior official in Unit 190, the weapon smuggling unit of the Quds Force. Shahariari has been smuggling weapons for use in terror attacks and for strengthening the military capabilities of terror organizations for over 10 years. He is considered the Quds Forces' leading expert in these matters. It appears that, as part of his job, he is frequently away from Tehran for long periods of time.

Sources say he is a hands-on figure who likes to take control of the details of activity under his command. He smuggles weapons using various secret channels and methods and using front companies. Many weapon smuggling operations he has been involved in have been exposed and foiled. People with whom he has worked in various countries have been detained and questioned, leading to disclosures about his activity and that of the Quds Force more broadly.

In 2000-2002, Shahariari served in Lebanon on behalf of the Quds Force, and transferred military equipment from Iran to Hezbollah. Shahariari's character helped him to establish and maintain social and professional ties with colleagues in Lebanon and Syria.

Over the years, Shahariari has been heavily involved in the planning of significant events, including attacks undertaken or sponsored by the Quds Force and weapons transfers to terror organizations worldwide, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Africa, etc.

In May 2007, a shipment of weapons was exposed while en route to Hezbollah from Iran to Syria via Turkey. Shahariari was behind the shipment, being transferred in containers on board a train which was derailed. It emerged that the containers were loaded with 122 mm mortar shells and explosives, among other items. Behnam Shahariari's signature was on the shipment's bill of lading, on behalf of the front company, Shahariari Trading Ltd.

Shahariari recruited and handled a network of Azeri facilitators that were involved, together with Lebanese Hezbollah operatives, in preparing attacks in Azerbaijan in 2008. As part of the preparations for the attack, an operational apartment was rented to store the weapons, including explosives, detonators, handguns, etc. The activity was prevented at its final stages by security authorities in Azerbaijan, who detained and sentenced the Lebanese terrorists and Azeri facilitators.

Shahariari was involved in transferring special weapons from Iran for an attack in Turkey in 2009, as part of prepartions for a joint Quds Force and Hezbollah attack in Istanbul. The activity was foiled when the terrorists involved were detained and interviewed by Turkish security forces.

Shahariari was involved in an attempt to transfer 36 containers from the Quds Force to Hezbollah using the Francop ship in November 2009. The containers, with about 500 tons of weapons, were seized in an Israeli Navy raid. This weapons smuggling used the Quds Force's front company Linertransport Kish (LTK), of which Shahariari is a director.

Shahariari was significantly involved in Quds Force activity to plan an attack in early 2010 in Turkey. During the operational prepartions for the attack, the Quds Force was assisted by local Turkish elements. The activity was disrupted after a foreign facilitator and an operative were detained and questioned by Turkish security forces.

According to sources in Turkey, Mir Vakili is involved in covert and subversive activity in Turkey, which includes operating a secret terror cell and holding logistical infrastructure in Istanbul, such as safe houses to support terror activity.

Shahariari was involved in smuggling weapons for preparations the Quds Force carried out for an attack in Azerbaijan in early 2012. The attack was foiled when local security forces detained two local facilitators, Rasim Aliev and Ali Huseynov, who prepared the attack, including collecting operational intelligence on targets. Weapons smuggling from Iran and Quds Force elements involved in the activity were also exposed.

Sources said that Shahariari was also involved in transferring weapons from Iran to Sudan, which were seized in March 2014 on the Klos-C ship. The front company Al-Jazire Education of Exchange Trading is recorded as the shipment's bill of lading. Al-Jazire is a known cover of Unit 190 in Sudan, which Shahariari and Unit 190 have used in the past for other weapons shipments to Sudan. Sources in Iran say that Quds Force elements expressed their anger at Shahariari's negligence, when he approved using a known and incriminated cover company again.

Shahariari is a member of the board of directors of several Quds Force front companies used to tranfer weapons, such as: Arash Zoobin, which was involved in transferring weapons to Turkey on trucks in 2011; Liner Transport Kish (LTK),where Shahariari was also business and marketing manager, and through which Quds transferred weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon; and Sepehr Taj Khavarmiyaneh, which is used as a front company for other secret Quds Force activity.

Shahariari's many failures over the years has caused friction between him and various elements in Unit 400 and Unit 190. However, his personal ties with senior Quds Force elements and his sleek character enabled him to maintain his status and overcome his failures.

Given his involvement in transferring weapons to terror elements, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on him.

Photos of Shahariari, taken during operational activity: