UN ready to boost support for Iran in fight against drug trafficking

September 16, 2020 - 19:10

TEHRAN – Ghada Wali, director-general of the United Nations Office in Vienna and executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the international body is ready to boost support for Iran in the fight against drug trafficking.

She made the remarks in a meeting in Vienna with the Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Baharvand.

Iran is an important country for the UNODC and has taken extensive measures in the field of counternarcotic and related crimes, Wali stated.

She also noted that the rate of drug seizure by Iran is commendable, saying that restitution of property caused by corruption is an important issue for the Office, and there is a legal basis for cooperation in this area in the Anti-Corruption Convention, and the UNODC is ready to cooperate with interested countries in this regard.

Baharvand also criticized the illegal and unilateral sanctions, and their impact on counter-narcotics capacities and stressed that while efforts are needed to lift such oppressive sanctions, measures must be taken simultaneously to provide the necessary equipment to deal with drugs and human trafficking to countries in need.

He suggested that a joint tripartite effort be made between Iran, Afghanistan, and the UNODC to strengthen checkpoints and border police.

Referring to Iran's financial and human losses in the fight against narcotics, called for more serious attention of the international community and the UNODC to strengthen the capacity and support resources of countries such as Iran.

Iran fighting against narcotics 

Iran seized some 1,000 tons of narcotics in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), putting the country in the first place in the world, Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni, Secretary-General of Iran Drug Control Headquarters said in July.

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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran, the drug control headquarters provided and distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other sanitary commodities among street users and NGOs working with drug users.

In the end, the anti-narcotic police and law enforcement of Iran held a burning ceremony of 90 tons of different types of drugs in provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Kerman, and West Azarbaijan, televised through the internet.

After the Islamic Revolution (in 1979), 3,800 were martyred, 12,000 were wounded and disabled in the fight against drug trafficking, Momeni announced.

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.

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