Unlawful sanctions disrupt Iran’s anti-drug fight: official

June 26, 2020 - 16:43

TEHRAN – Iran’s deputy 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 other countries will not be immune from the consequences.

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

Iran, along with other members of the international community, is celebrating the day, but has made significant strides in the fight against drug addiction by incurring numerous material and spiritual costs and implementing various projects, he highlighted.

Over the past year, more than 950 tons of narcotics were seized, a record in the history of drug detection, and the spending of several hundred million dollars in the two areas of supply and demand reduction are among Iran’s measures to achieve a world free of drugs, he explained.

He went on to say that drugs are not a problem that a country can solve on its own.

Iran emphasizes the pivotal role of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as an international authority in the fight against narcotics and expresses its concern over any approach that contradicts the mission of this organization or leads to Interference in its current mission, he highlighted.

It is expected that in line with the principle of shared responsibility, as well as joint cooperation, we will once again have the technical and financial support of UNODC programs in both border management and countermeasures, he noted.

Iran’s anti-narcotics measures are not merely restricted to its borders, they have regional and international effects due to its geographical location, he added.

International diplomacy is based on cooperation to resolve regional and global problems, while the imposition of illegal sanctions and unilateral coercive measures has prevented the implementation of international cooperation, especially in the fight against drugs, he lamented.

Failure to provide the necessary equipment in the field of border management and confiscation of drugs due to sanctions will disrupt the fight in a way that other countries will suffer from the consequences, he stated, adding, the responsibility for the consequences of this is disrupting the international fight against drugs lies with those who impose these illegal rules by putting pressure on the international community.

Iran's will to fight against narcotics trafficking focuses on the need to avoid politicization and unilateralism and pay attention to international cooperation to achieve the goals and to build a better tomorrow for all human beings, he concluded.

Alexander Fedulov, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative to Iran, has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking, IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

According to UNODC's 2020 report, Iran made considerable efforts in drug seizure, as it confiscated 90 percent of opium, 26 percent of heroin, and 48 percent of morphine on the global scale, Fedulov said.

Hossein Rahimi, a police chief, has said three gangs of international drug trafficking have been recently disbanded in the capital city of Tehran, and 27 dealers were arrested, over 1 ton of narcotics was discovered.

Since the beginning of this year (March 21), 163 international traffickers were arrested and 6 tons of drugs were seized, he noted, adding, police detections of drugs have increased by 25 percent compared to the same period last year.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as 'World Drug Day', is celebrated annually on 26 June. The theme of World Drug Day 2020 is "Better Knowledge for Better Care."

The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987.


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