1222 GMT September 22, 2019
In remarks released on Sunday, Brigadier General Mohammad Qanbari said police identified a major ring that intended to transit a big haul of illicit drugs from Saravan to central provinces of the country, Tasnim News Agency reported.
In an operation on Saturday night, the forces identified the vehicles of the drug ring and clashed with its armed members, the commander said.
He added that five smugglers were arrested and their four vehicles were seized.
Qanbari said after inspecting the vehicles, 1.5 tons of opium and two combat weapons were also seized.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trafficking over the past three decades.
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 claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian forces over the past decades.