0735 GMT January 25, 2020
Iran's President Chief Of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi said on Saturday the Europe cannot evade its responsibility in cooperation on fight against drug trafficking.
Vaezi stressed that the European countries, which are targets of drug smugglers, must help Iran in its fight against drug trafficking, which is under economic pressure due to the United States illegal sanctions.
“Only, by issuing a statement praising Iran’s efforts, the Europe cannot escape its responsibility in this regard,” the Iranian official said in an address to a meeting on fighting drug trafficking in Tehran on Saturday.
He said that all countries should cooperate in the fight against the phenomenon, stressing that no country should escape its responsibility on the pretext that it isn’t a transit route for the smugglers of illicit drugs.
In June, Secretary General of Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni said despite the US sanctions’ negative impact on Iran’s campaign on illicit drugs, the country captures 800 tons of narcotics each year.
Momeni highlighted Iran’s major role in the global campaign on illicit drugs and said, “According to United Nations statistics, 75 percent of the world’s opium seizures, 61% of morphine seizures and 17% of heroin seizures take place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
In 2017, Iran seized 21 tons of heroin while only about 4 tons of the illicit drugs were captured in entire Europe, he noted.
Brigadier General Momeni added that other countries can also fight illicit drugs more powerfully but they do not do so.
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 war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.