TEHRAN – Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli elaborated on Monday on his first 100-day in office as interior minister in the fight against illegal drugs.
It was Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli’s very first news conference after assuming his new position in the new administration of President Hassan Rouhani.
Rahmani Fazli said that fighting illicit drugs are quite costly for the government and the society is losing resources including funds and human lives.
The minister said in the “war on drugs” drug dealers are “still ahead of us” although Iran’s endeavor is greater than the world’s standard.
Iran’s geographical location, particularly its eastern border with Afghanistan- the world's largest illicit opium and cannabis producer –has turned the country into a major transit for illegal drugs.
Rahmani Fazli said Afghanistan produces about 80 percent of the world’s total illegal drugs which around 30 percent of that is transited through Iran.
Opium poppy cultivation is soaring in Afghanistan and currently 209,000 hectares of land is used for that purpose, he stated.
Another source of illegal drugs is available in the market encouraging people to lose weight, deal with depression, regain focus, etc that “we need to educate people of their dangers,” Rahamni Fazli explained.
He went on to say that 80 percent of drug addiction rehabilitation centers are in the hands of private sector where drug addicts can receive treatment and therapy.
To win the war against drugs “we have to involve every citizen of the country, promote establishment of NGOs for drug abuse prevention, create think tanks, hold meetings and conferences on drug abuse and educate the public about drugs,” the minister noted.
The minister added around 80 percent of Iranian security forces’ clashes with drug smugglers take place on border areas and except 200 to 300 kilometers of Iran’s borders in the east, the rest of the country’s borders are “very secure and under control”.
In the end, Rahmani Fazli encouraged all journalists to establish an NGO through which they could educate the public about drugs abuse and preventive measures.
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