Some 536 tons of drugs seized in Iran in 10 months

January 28, 2016

TEHRAN — The Drug Control Headquarters spokesman announced on Tuesday that over the past ten months some 536 tons of drugs have been seized in Iran.

Of this amount 412 tons were opium, 15 tons heroine, crack and crystal meth, 6.7 tons morphine, 80 tons hashish and 1.5 tons methamphetamines Parviz Afshar told a press conference.

Afshar explained that during the same period the anti-narcotic police succeeded in capturing some 298,230 of drug lords, networks of drug dealers and persons who were in the illegal drug trade, Mehr reported.

The number of the drug related operations has increased by 8 percent compared to the same period last year, he said, adding that 2,605 illicit drug networks were successfully targeted and tackled during this time.

He said the number of such operations has risen by 5 percent as well.

******* ‘Strong international ties to speed up drug fight’

Fortunately, he noted, as sanctions against Iran are being lifted joint meetings with international bodies to boost cooperation in fight against illicit drugs trade have begun.

Afshar said Tehran has recently signed an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to fight the flow of narcotics into Iran from neighboring countries, mainly Afghanistan.

The program outlines a three-year cooperation between Iran and the UNODC under which the Islamic Republic is provided with $20 million to fight drug trade and trafficking, he said.

“The amount of money may not be substantial but it indicates that we are off to a good start,” he suggested. “Iran is not a poor country and what we need most is technical support rather than financial help.”

******* ‘Execution is the last punitive measure against drug dealers’

Afshar highlighted that except for drug dealers who have committed violent and serious crimes or those crimes pertaining to terrorism, capital punishments are not normally meted out.

“We ourselves are looking for a replacement for execution and it would be our last resort,” he explained.

******* Iran’s uphill fight against drug trafficking

Iran is one of the best routes and the main drug trafficking corridor linking Afghanistan to the huge markets in Russia and Western Europe, Afshar said.

He went on to say that owing to that feature, the fight against narcotics in Iran is both time-consuming and demanding.

******* Methamphetamine scope narrowed in Iran

Fortunately, methamphetamine use has reduced in Iran due to its limitations and steep prices, he heralded.

Drug addicts have mostly switched to heroine which is easier to treat by methadone, he stated.

MQ/PA