U.S. sanctions disrupting anti-drugs fight: Zarif

June 24, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s foreign minister has criticized the U.S. sanctions for hindering Iran’s effort and cooperation with other countries in the fight against drug trafficking, saying Washington and a number of Western countries are responsible for the consequences of such interruption.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks as he addressed a conference in Tehran marking International Day against Drug Trafficking and Abuse of Illicit Drugs.

The top diplomat referred to a report by the United Nations, saying that “today, Iran is the flag-bearer of the fight against drug trafficking.”

“The martyrdom of more than 8,800 policemen with over 12,000 others being left disabled are the heavy cost Iran has so far paid for,” Mehr quoted Zarif as saying.

Zarif stressed that Iran’s anti-narcotic measures are not merely restricted to its borders, saying they have regional and international effects due to its geographical location including its 921-kilometer long border with Afghanistan, which is the world’s biggest producer of traditional drugs.

The foreign minister noted that Iranian forces confiscated over 800 tons of opium last year, which accounts for 80% of the opium seized in the world.

He also rebuked some Western governments for opposing the goal of “a world free of narcotic drugs”.

“Ignoring the measures taken by supporters of free drug trafficking by raising the human rights issue, Iran works to promote public health by monitoring the corridors,” the minister stated.

SP/PA

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