Iran has a balanced approach to fighting narcotics, says envoy

June 27, 2020 - 18:29

TEHRAN — Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations, says Iran has a balanced approach in fighting narcotics, which prioritizes preventive measures.

“Iran has a balanced, intelligent approach in the field of narcotics; the country has put preventive measures and plans to raise awareness about the negative impacts of drug abuse high on its agenda in a bid to reduce the demand for narcotics in the society,” Gahribabadi wrote on his Instagram page on Friday, according to Mehr.

He made the remarks on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, which is observed annually on 26 June.

“In this vein, more than 1.6 individuals were referred to over 9,000 healthcare centers in the country in the past Iranian year,” he added.

Gharibabadi pointed out that 30 Iranian forces were martyred last year in 2,319 operations against drug trafficking.

The Islamic Republic’s forces also dismantled over 1,886 narcotic rings in the past year and confiscated over 950 tons of different drugs, he added.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.

Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades.

The country has spent more than $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European and Arab countries.

The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.

In an address to a special commemorative event of the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNODC) on Friday, Gharibabadi warned that the policy of certain countries to decriminalize and legalize drug use is undermining international anti-narcotics efforts.

“Any approach with the purpose of decriminalizing and legalizing certain types of drugs would undermine international efforts to achieve a drug abuse-free world,” he said.

The Iranian envoy deplored the far-reaching negative impacts of drug abuse on development and stability across the world, calling for closer international cooperation, tangible support, and increased national and regional efforts to overcome the challenge posed by drugs.

“A balanced stance on the basis of the international conventions on drugs must be the guideline and criterion for all national, regional, and international arrangements,” Gharibabadi added.

MH/PA

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