Drug trafficking inflicts $8.5bn of damage on Iran’s economy annually

January 31, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Drug trafficking inflicts about $8.5 billion of damage on the country’s economy every year, according to the lieutenant commander of Iran’s Anti-Drug Police Squad.

Contrary to popular belief, drug addiction is not limited to a certain social class, although the poor addicts are the ones in the public eye, for the most part, Taha Taheri told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.
Taheri rejected a UN report which said Iran ranks first in the consumption of drugs, saying the UN report has many flaws.
The report exaggerated the drug consumption situation in the country and has many other problems as well, he stated.
“For instance, while we believe there are 1.2 million addicts in the country, they put the number at 900,000, which is 300,000 less than the official statistics,” he added.
Taheri said that during a recent meeting with UN Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, he complained about the report, and it has thus been decided that UNODC experts will travel to Iran to study the situation more closely.
Taheri stated that Iran, as the current chairman of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, is making efforts to make the UN statistics on drugs more precise so that the statistics cannot be used for political purposes.
However, UNODC has kept more precise statistics over the past three years, he added.
The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is the central drug policy-making body within the United Nations system.