0127 GMT November 20, 2019
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs Gholamhossein Dehqani said that all countries that are benefiting from Iran’s efforts in its campaign against drug trafficking are obliged to provide Tehran with technical and financial assistance.
Dehqani made the comments in a meeting with Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yuri Fedotov in Russia.
The Iranian official has traveled to Russia to participate in an international conference on countering weapons supplies to terrorists.
He added that Iran had been at the frontline of the war against drug smugglers over the past decades and has lost many of its forces.
He described the increase in narcotics production in neighboring Afghanistan and activities of smugglers to transport them abroad as serious threats to the security of Iran and other countries.
Dehqani pointed to the close link between drug trafficking and terrorism, saying that today one of the main sources of financing of terrorism is drug trafficking, especially in our region.
He said that efforts by only one country to combat this phenomenon is not sufficient; it requires strong international support and cooperation between countries.
The UN official said that UNODC will attempt to meet Iran’s concerns about drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
Fedotov and Dehqani discussed ways to promote bilateral cooperation on the fight against narcotics smuggling and terrorist activities in the region.
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, Iran 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 police officers over the past four decades.