UN official praises Iran’s anti-drug efforts

A United Nations official has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against drug trafficking following the arrest of a local smuggling gang, Press TV reports.

Speaking in Tehran on Saturday, Gary Lewis, a UN resident coordinator, lauded Iran’s fight against drugs and called for further international assistance in the field.

“Iran accounts for about 80 percent of illicit opium seizures and about one-third of the world’s heroine seizures, and morphine-based seizures. That is a massive contribution,” Lewis said.

He noted that there was a “huge accountability,” for Iran in this regard adding, “It sometimes saddens me that major sacrifices and contribution, which I’ve personally touched… and have watched happen, are not sufficiently recognized by the international community.”

The UN official’s remarks followed the apprehension of six members of a cocaine smuggling ring in Tehran.

“The ring-lord has been one of the main elements behind the distribution and smuggling of [some] types of narcotics,” said General Ali Moayedi, the head of the anti-narcotics division of Iran’s police force.

“Cocaine is originally produced in South America. Smuggling and distribution of this drug in Iran sends us a warning that a new threat is being posed against Iran and we have to redouble our efforts to fight the sinister phenomenon,” he added.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer-long (560-mile-long) common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.

Iran has spent more than $700 million to seal the borders to prevent 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 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.

By Press TV


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