Iran, Afghanistan underscore need to boost anti-narcotics fight

October 21, 2020 - 17:28

TEHRAN – The Iranian commander of border guards Ahmad Ali Goudarzi, and the Afghan deputy minister of interior for counter-narcotics Mohammad Hashim Aurtaq, emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation to fight against drug trafficking.

During a meeting held in Tehran on Wednesday, Goudarzi highlighted on cooperation and coordination between the border guards of the two countries and said that practical and serious cooperation is essential, and drug smuggling should be combated by exchanging information.

The border guards are in charge of the police force, and at the forefront of the fight against drugs, he noted, IRNA reported.

“We are on the border with the friendly and Muslim country of Afghanistan and there is a long-standing cultural and historical affinity between the two countries and this long-standing relationship is not hidden from anyone,” Goudarzi stated.

Referring to the establishment of permanent security on the long border with Afghanistan, he added that there are religious and cultural commonalities between Iran and Afghanistan which is very valuable.

Drugs are the products made by erring human beings and the enemies, which, with the cooperation of the two countries, can be prevented, he added.

Referring to the increase in the production of narcotics in Afghanistan, Goudarzi added that joint and simultaneous patrols on the common borders of the two countries will contribute to the lasting security of the borders.

Aurtaq pointing to the production of 84 percent of the world's opium in Afghanistan, said that due to the presence of Taliban forces in some border areas and provinces of Afghanistan, the country is struggling to fight the cultivation and production of narcotics.

Referring to the destruction of 52 laboratories producing methamphetamine in the country, he stated that "We understand the concerns and sensitivities of Iran and hope that by amending and revising the anti-narcotics laws, more effective steps will be taken in this regard.

Iran’s measures in anti-narcotics fight

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, Eskandar Momeni, the secretary-general of Iran’s drug control headquarters, said in July.
After the Islamic Revolution (in 1979), 3,800 were martyred, 12,000 were wounded and disabled in the fight against drug trafficking, Momeni announced.

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.

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