The US unilateral sanctions and economic war against the Iranian nation has hindered international cooperation, particularly cooperation on the fight against drug trafficking, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday.
Addressing a conference on the International Day against Drug Trafficking and Abuse of Illicit Drugs, the foreign minister said the US and some Western countries are directly responsible for consequences of disrupting the fight against drug trafficking, IRNA reported.
As confirmed by the United Nations, Iran is today the flag-bearer of the fight against drug trafficking, Zarif said.
Because of Iran’s geographical situation and its neighborhood with the world’s biggest producer of narcotics, Iran’s measures against drug trafficking have regional and international impacts, Zarif said.
The foreign minister noted that Iranian forces captured over 800 tons of opium last year, which accounts for 80 percent of the opium seized in the world.
He also rebuked some Western governments for opposing the goal of "a world free of narcotic drugs".
“Ignoring the measures taken by supporters of free drug-trafficking by raising the human rights issue, Iran works to promote public health by monitoring the corridors,” the minister said.
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.
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 troops over the past four decades.