Publishe Date: 11:22 AM - 8/26/2014 | Print

Over 175 Tons of Narcotics Seized by Police in Iran in 5 Months

Politics - The drug combat squads of Iran's Law Enforcement troops have seized more than 175,000 kilograms of illicit drugs across the country in the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-August 22, 2014), Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced on Tuesday.

"The Iranian police have seized over 175 tons of narcotics since the beginning of the current year (March 21-August 22)," Rahmani Fazli told reporters today.

The Iranian interior minister noted that opium accounted for 77 percent of the seized illicit drugs and hashish for 13 percent.

"The Iranian police have conducted 694 operations and also dismantled 926 drug gangs in the same period," Rahmani Fazli said.

In June, Rahmani Fazli announced that more than half a million kilograms of illicit drugs had been seized in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2014).

"Just in the last year, we seized 570 tons of narcotics from the traffickers," Rahmani Fazli said.

He further pointed to the other measures taken by the Iranian police in the war on drug traffickers, and said 300 workshops which produced chemical and laboratory drugs were also annihilated last year.

Rahmani Fazli reminded Iran's resolve in its campaign against drugs and drug-trafficking, reminding that over 3,600 police forces have been martyred in the fight against drug trafficking in Iran in the last three decades.

Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states.

According to official estimates, Iran's battle against drugs cost the country around $1 billion annually. Strategies pursued by Tehran include digging canals, building barriers and installing barbed wire to seal the country's borders, specially in the East.

Iran has long complained that the global community, specially the western nations, do not contribute their role in the campaign against drugs, saying that Iran is making lone efforts to block the transit of narcotics from Afghanistan to Europe and the US. Meantime, the Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.

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