Iran dismantles some 1,700 drug gangs in 2022

May 12, 2023 - 15:48

TEHRAN – Some 1,700 regional and international drug gangs were dismantled by Iran in the year 2022, Eskandar Momeni, the secretary general of the Iranian anti-narcotics headquarters, has said.

Iran is located next to Afghanistan, the largest producer of opioids, the second largest producer of cannabis, and recently the producer of glass (methamphetamine), he added.

Momeni made the remarks in a meeting with Iraqi Interior Minister Abdul Amir Kamel Al-Shammari on the sidelines of the first Baghdad International Drug Control Conference which was held from 9 to 10 May 2023.

Setting up about 800 coastal checkpoints in the Persian Gulf, strengthening and developing electronic and electro-optical equipment, and installing land-based radars and specialized cameras are among Iran's measures to deal with maritime smuggling, Momeni explained.

Momeni signed a memorandum of understanding with Ghada Fathi Waly, the director general of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the sidelines of the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) that was held in Vienna from March 13-17.

The agreement opens a new chapter in Iran's cooperation with the United Nations in the four areas of dealing with the supply and demand of narcotics, and offering treatment and rehabilitation services, Momeni said, IRIB reported.

“We firmly believe that international conventions are designed to respond to the challenges and issues facing communities,” he said, adding that any interpretation aimed at legalizing or decriminalizing the illegal drug trade is a serious threat to the security of countries.

Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly supports the position and effective role of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as the main policy-making body of the United Nations in matters related to drugs and the role of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in facilitating legal access to scientific and medical needs, Momeni highlighted.

“Despite the repeated emphasis of the United Nations on the principle of shared responsibility in dealing with global problems, including drugs, we still, unfortunately, witness the selective and political approach of some countries, especially in the financing of projects, programs, and the provision of technical equipment.”

Since 2017, the Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in discovering 5,372 tons of narcotics, he added.

“Valuable measures to reduce the rate of infectious diseases such as HIV (AIDS) and hepatitis among addicts have been taken. Setting up healthcare, rehabilitation, and consultation centers, and empowering women and girls in cooperation with the UNODC and UNICEF offices in the cities of Tehran, Kerman, and Kermanshah were among the measures.”

In February, Momeni said Iran spends about $700 million to $1 billion annually to fight against narcotics.

According to the reports of international institutions and organizations, about 92 percent of drug discoveries are made by Iran, he said, adding that the country is completely alone and the cost is borne by the government and the people.

Momeni emphasized that the international community should increase support to the Islamic Republic to fight against narcotics, especially to curb trafficking, IRNA reported.

“A significant part of the financial burden in the field of combating narcotics includes blocking the borders, dealing with smuggling, identifying and monitoring the transit routes, and offering treatment and rehabilitation services.”

“However, Iran has not received any notable help from international organizations until today.”


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