March 4, 2021

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Iran at forefront of global fight against narcotic drugs: Envoy

Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has highlighted the Islamic Republic’s war on narcotic drugs, saying Tehran is at the forefront of the global fight against the menace. 

In a letter addressed to the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Saturday, Kazem Gharibabadi informed the organization of Iran’s efforts in the fight against narcotics, saying the country remains the spearhead of the fight.

Gharibabadi also censured international organizations and countries for inaction and failure to fulfill their responsibility with regard to eliminating the phenomenon. 

The envoy underlined that more than 1,147 tonnes of narcotics were discovered by Iranian forces at the country’s borders and inside Iran in 2020, up 40 percent from the previous year.

“Most of these discoveries were related to 916 tonnes of opium, while other seized narcotics included 107 tonnes of cannabis, 27 tonnes of morphine, 31 tonnes of heroin, 20 tonnes of amphetamine and 44 tonnes of other substances,” he added.

Gharibabadi said Iran’s anti-narcotics forces had 2,851 cases of armed clashes with drug traffickers in 2020, which resulted in the dismantling of 2,196 drug gangs and destruction of their transit and distribution network.

Ten Iranian police were also killed in clashes with drug traffickers in 2020.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, is used as a transit route for trafficking of narcotic drugs from Afghanistan to markets in Europe.

For decades, Iran has been fighting a relentless battle against international drug networks, but the war has cost it the loss of many lives and finances. 

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

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

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