West unable to help Iran fight drug trafficking on pretext of sanctions

August 17, 2020 - 18:45

TEHRAN – Western countries have fulfilled only 30 percent of their international anti-narcotics commitments under the pretext of unilateral sanctions against Iran, but these barriers will not undermine Iran’s efforts in this regard, Iran Drug Control Headquarters spokesman has said.

Recalling that for many years, Iran has seized 76 to 80 percent of Afghanistan's opium, heroin, and morphine, he noted that besides, about 90 percent opium, 26 percent heroin, and 48 percent morphine in the world discovered by Iran, IRNA reported.

Due to its proximity to the world's largest drug producer, Iran has bearded many effects and costs narcotics production, trafficking, and transit to European countries, which are the main drug market, he lamented.

“So far, we have lost over 3,880 law enforcement forces in the anti-drug operations and 12,000 were wounded or disabled in this way,” he said, adding, Iran spends approximately $350 million annually to battle narcotics trafficking and $250 million annually on demand reduction and treatment.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are also spent annually to block the country's eastern borders, and because Western countries do not provide Iran with any equipment and technical facilities under the pretext of sanctions that can eliminate the need for physical border protection care, we have to spend a lot of money to dig canals, build a wall or fence, he lamented.

UN financial dependence, the main pretext

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been established in Tehran since 1999. During its 20 years of cooperation, it has always been one of Iran's good partners. Iran is mentioned as the flagship of the fight against drugs in the world and also the main UN partner in this field.

Accordingly, Iran had implemented four five-year plans with the UNODC so far, and this year a draft of the fifth plan is to be written, he said, adding, the United Nations is also one of the centers of support and experience in the struggle, but unfortunately it has been affected by the political approach and unilateralism of Western countries towards Iran.

“In recent years, we have seen the lack of cooperation by European and Western countries in helping the United Nations to support Iran, and this organization has not been able to act independently due to its budgetary dependence on these countries,” he lamented.

Iran, a leading anti-narcotics country

Iran is now a leading country in the field of combat and prevention of narcotics trafficking, and many countries have benefited from Iran's experience in the various training courses held, he noted.

In line with this, last year, the National Center for Addiction Studies was inaugurated as a regional center for the treatment of disorders caused by drug abuse in the presence of the Special Representative of the UNODC, which was a great advantage for Iran, he highlighted.

It is a research and study center declared a regional center by the United Nations, which had previously been selected as a partner body by the World Health Organization, which is now a partner body based on the follow-up of the Drug Control Headquarters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by two key UN agencies, he explained.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The organization also officially announced that the world’s first place in the discovery of opium, heroin, and morphine belongs to Iran.

According to UNODC, Iran remains one of the major transit routes for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to European countries and has had a leading role at the global level in the drug-control campaigns.

UNODC World Drug Report 2020 estimates that in 2018, 91 percent of world opium, 48 percent of the world morphine, and 26 percent of the world heroin were seized by Iran.

Iran’s drug control efforts led to the seizure of 266 tons of different types of drugs during the period of April-June 2020, a 20 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Drug use is a complex health and social problem worldwide, with half a million people dying each year as a result of drug abuse, he lamented, adding, drug use has entered a critical condition, and the international community is determined to tackle the global drug problem.

Hossein Rahimi, a police chief, has said three gangs of international drug trafficking have been disbanded in the capital city of Tehran since the beginning of this year, and 27 dealers were arrested. Moreover, over 1 ton of narcotics was discovered and 163 international traffickers were arrested.


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