Jun 10, 2020, 12:19 PM
Journalist ID: 2379
News Code: 83816858
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Iran performs most of anti-narcotic duties West was derelict in

Tehran, June 10, IRNA - Western states on the pretext of sanctions have decreased or suspended some of their duties in line with anti-narcotic operations; meanwhile, Iran remained determined to fight against drug trafficking.

Such suspension could not drain Iran's will to combat drug smuggling activities, Director General of International Relations Office of Drug Control Headquarters Amir Abbas Lotfi told IRNA in an exclusive interview in Tehran.

On the pretext of the US anti-Iran sanctions, Western countries have not fulfilled some of their duties, one of which has been financial support for anti-drug operations, Lotfi said.

He added that Iran has put on the agenda effective campaign against drug trafficking networks.

Elaborating on Iran's remarkable counter-narcotics operations, the official said that most of the officials at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have over and over described Iran as forerunner of global fight against narcotics trafficking.

Over 70 percent of the world's illegal drugs are being seized annually by Iran, Lotfi said, referring to seizure of 950 tons of different types of drugs by the Iranian forces in the past year which has been a record in the country's counter narcotics campaign.

The official noted that Iran spent a lot of money to carry out operations against illicit drug traffickers and lost 3,880 of its security and military officers in armed struggle while 12,500 other officers were maimed.

Although Iran has spent more than hundreds dollars for closure of its eastern borders and is considered as one of the main partners for UNODC, Western states have made the least cooperation on securing fund for fighting drug traffickers.

Iran, having border with Afghanistan in east of the country, is on the route of illegal drug transit to Europe and the country has not been secured against such illegal activities.

Iran is the main trafficking route from Afghanistan- supplier of over 90 percent of the world's opium- and Pakistan to the European and Asian countries.

As the Iranian official says, drug trafficking is a global problem which needs global cooperation to be solved.

Since two decades ago, Iran has started cooperation with United Nations to counter narcotics moves, Lotfi underlined.

He further talked of Tehran-based office of Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan plan that acts an executive pillar to counter illicit drug activities.

Also about Iran's good regional cooperation in anti-drug activities, Lotfi said such cooperation has turned the country into a model for others.

Meanwhile, sanctions and unilateral bans on Iran have created obstacles to the country's international cooperation, he added.

Expressing regret over UN financial dependence on Western countries, Lotfi called for not taking political stance on countering narcotics activities.

In related development, Head of Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police Brigadier General Massoud Zahedian warned in June 2019 that if Europe does not pay its share of fighting against illicit drugs trafficking, it should deal with a situation in which illicit drugs will be available to every European individuals.

Europe is the biggest market of Afghan drugs, and Afghanistan is still the world's biggest opium producer which shares a long border with its western strategic country of Iran.

Iran, as one of Afghanistan's neighbors, is on the route of illegal drug transit to Europe and the country has not been secured against such illegal activities.

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