1121 GMT April 03, 2020
The head of Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Police, Brigadier General Masoud Zahedian, said Iran is a strong barrier against the flow of narcotics to Europe and called for international efforts to combat drug trafficking.
Zahedian made the remarks during a press conference at the Embassy of Iran in Rome, Italy, according to IRNA.
The press conference came after an international conference on drug trafficking, which brought together representatives from 57 nations in the Italian capital.
Elaborating on Iran’s efforts against drug trafficking, the Iranian official said Iran had made significant headway in the fight against narcotics in spite of the unjust sanctions imposed by the US.
Zahedian said that 814 tons of narcotics were seized by the Iranian police last year alone, which could have caused a catastrophe in Europe.
He noted that the discoveries have been appreciated by the Europeans, but due to the US sanctions, Iran has not been able to receive or even buy the necessary equipment to fight the smuggling activities.
He said the 2,000 kilometers of border in the east and 1,700 kilometers of border in the south can be a good path for drug traffickers. Monitoring the long border needs equipment, which has been limited by the West and the US.
The US sanctions have in practice helped the smugglers and terrorists and limited Iran in its campaign against them, he stressed.
Iran spends over 600 million euros in anti-drug trafficking measures annually. These include patrolling the country’s 2000-kilometer land border with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Zahedian warned that if Europe does not pay its share of fighting against illegal drug trafficking, the European society will face a difficult situation.
“More than 3,800 Iranians have been killed and 12,500 others have been injured in the fight with drug traffickers,” he said.
Zahedian added that Afghanistan had experienced a 35-fold increase in the production of narcotics after the US and its western allies occupied the country in 2011.