0435 GMT March 22, 2019
Iran’s Secretary General of Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni in a meeting with the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov in the Austrian capital slammed some Western countries for their lack of cooperation with Iran in the fight against drugs, according to IRNA.
In the meeting, Momeni explained about measures adopted by Iran in 2018 to combat illicit drugs.
“Despite illegal, cruel, and unilateral sanctions, as well as the lack of international assistance, the Islamic Republic of Iran managed to seize more than 800 tons of illicit drugs in 2018, of which 45 tons were heroin and morphine,” he said.
Last month, the Iranian police seized 600 kg of heroin destined for Italy, he said, adding that this year, 18 police forces have been martyred during the anti-narcotics campaign.
Brigadier General Momeni added that this is while, the level of international assistance to the Islamic Republic has been minimized and other countries, especially the Western countries, are not committed to “the principle of joint responsibility”.
Momeni expressed satisfaction with the approval of the ministerial statement of the UN summit, expressing hope that the new political document would help the countries implement their commitments promised over the past decade.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) of the UNODC that started on March 14 and will run until March 22 in the Austrian capital Vienna.
The UN official said that UNODC has made many efforts to attract more funding, increase cooperation and support for Iran’s government in its fight against the phenomenon.
“In international documents, the amount of discoveries in Iran is higher than that of all the countries, and Iran is preventing the transfer of narcotics to other countries of the world, and it represents a large part of its contribution to the global fight against narcotics,” Fedotov confirmed.
He said that recently Japan has provided approximately $900,000 to the country's program.
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 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.
The Iranian official also in a separate meeting with Pakistani officials urged the Asian country to tighten security control over regions bordering Iran, and to strengthen its cooperation with Iran to better fight the drugs smuggling.
"The smugglers, unfortunately, use Pakistan as a safe region to smuggle illegal drugs into Iran," Momeni said at a meeting with Pakistani delegation attending the summit in Vienna.
Iran is ready to cooperate on borders security, intelligence and operations, with the aim of spotting international smuggling gangs, as well as decreasing demand for the drugs, Momeni said.