Iran's turnabout in combating drugs under US sanctions puts Europe's security in jeopardy

Tehran, June 15, IRNA - Europe should brace for a deluge of narcotics if it doesn't plan to stick to its commitments with the Iran nuclear deal, allowing Iran to enjoy the economic dividends of the accord. 

Sharing a long border with Afghanistan, the world’s main poppy cultivation and drugs production, Iranian roads have also anti-narcotics police stations. 

The number of Iranian police fatalities is nothing less than the number of fatalities in a small civil war. 

“It was us that paid billions of dollars in combating the narcotic drugs and their transit to Europe. The best Iranian youth have been martyred. We have lost 4,000 martyrs so drugs don’t make it to Europe and your kids. However, due to the US pressures, we don’t have the money to pay for this,” these are Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s words that were transmitted on May 8 on radio and television after US President Donald Trump’s statements on Iran. 

What’s clear is that Iranian anti-narcotics forces are making that verbal threat of Rouhani a reality. 

Even despite the sanctions and the lack of necessary funds for combating drug trafficking, Iran has been trying hard to contain the flow of narcotics to Europe. But, as Europe is unwilling to stand up against the US and take some measures to let Iran export and get its money back, Tehran is now showing its threat more practically. 

More than 11% of Iran’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent on combating drug trafficking. Is it OK that we spend such huge amount for those who don’t want to support us?    

“According to the US reports, some 25 to 35% of Afghanistan’s drugs pass through Iran,” Said Safatian, head of a working group to reduce drug addiction at the Expediency Council was cited as saying by Iranian Shargh Daily. 

“Some 4,000 Iranian forces have been killed and 10,000 more disabled in combating drugs. What will happen in Europe is Iran decides to open its eastern borders?” stressed the official. 
“This is what Europe think about,” he warned. 

Safatian urged the European countries to consider several factors in this regard: first, they are weighing more relaxed drug laws and should the narcotics flow into them, they need to reconsider those laws.  

Shargh Daily continues to cite the official as saying that drugs will be more accessible and cheaper, that is a larger number of people will use them, incurring more costs on their governments. 

“We have told the Europeans several times that if you fail to pay us 5 billion tomans (some $5 million) to secure our eastern borders, then they need to pay billions of dollars more in their own countries,” he warned.  

The Iranian official also told Europe to be careful of the number of drugs busts that will take place every day. 

Drug trafficking is always connected to terrorism, meaning Eastern Europe mafia groups will cause lots of terrorist acts there.

“Iran is a shield right now, they tells us that we are sanctioned and that we can’t pay you,” Safatian said.  

“Sanctions don’t allow us to combat terrorism the way we want,” according to anti-narcotics police chief Eskandar Momeni, who went on to say that drug busts require modern technology and equipment. 

Iran has busted 75% of the world’s opium, 61% of the world’s morphine and 17% of the world’s heroine, Momeni said. “Back in 2017, Iran busted 21 tons and Europe in general 4 tons,” he noted. 


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