By Mohammad Homaeefar

One million refugees would pour into Europe if Iran hangs back: minister

July 3, 2018

TEHRAN – Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Tuesday “if we close our eyes for 24 hours, one million refugees who are inside Iran will leave for Europe via our western borders.”

“You don’t believe this?” he asked Europeans.  “We would if you wished. We won’t let that happen for humanitarian sakes. We respect all human beings... We respect rules. But why aren’t the others?”

Rahmani Fazli also pointed to Western countries’ double standard in dealing with money laundering and fight against drug trafficking, saying the “turnover of drug trafficking is more than $50 billion, most of which occurs in Europe.”

He further said, “Previously, the smugglers’ highest weapon was Kalashnikov. In no case would they attack. They would always run away. And they usually would leave their batches as they ran. But this time they attacked as a powerful operational unit. Do you know what this means? This means a bond between smugglers, bandits, and terrorism in the operational phase, as well as backing and supply of equipment, money, intelligence, and training behind the scene.”

He added, “Since last year, the cultivation of narcotics has increased by over 85%, reaching 9,000 tons, according to United Nations statistics. But we believe it is about 10,000 tons. Also, the total amount of industrial drugs has surpassed 709. This requires international cooperation to deal with,” he remarked.

He further said Iran plays an important role in the fight against the trafficking of narcotics to Europe, stressing the need for Western states to seriously aid Tehran in the war on drugs.

The minister went on to say, “If we count based on opium, last year we discovered 1,200 tons. This is the number I announce at every international session. They ask me to repeat it two or three times since they think I should mean kilos.”

Rahmani Fazli also said, “The number of addicted people [in Iran] has fallen from about 3,300,000 to 2,800,000. We see some 500,000 drop in the number of addicted people.” 

MH/PA

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