0208 GMT November 19, 2019
Police forces in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan seized over 2,000 kilos of illicit drugs and arrested several smugglers.
The police chief of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Brigadier-General Mohammad Ghanbari said on Monday that local law enforcement launched an operation against the traffickers after its forces were informed about the smuggling of a big haul of illicit drugs to the provincial city of Saravan from the eastern borders with Pakistan.
Following the operation, police forces managed to arrest three smugglers and seized 1,333kg of opium, 648kg of hashish, 10kg of crystal, 9kg of morphine, 4kg of heroin, and 2kg of other illicit drugs, he added.
Iran, which is at the forefront of the fight against drug trafficking, has lost thousands of its security forces in its battle against smugglers.
According to reports, in 2018 alone, Iranian forces carried out 1,557 operations, seizing approximately 807 tons of different types of narcotics and psychotropic substances.
Also, the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2019 indicated that Iran seized the largest quantity of opiates in 2017, accounting for 39% of the global total.
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.