TEHRAN (FNA)- The drug combat squads of Iran’s police have seized more than 8,000 kilograms of illicit drugs in Sistan and Balouchestan province in the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21, 2014), a senior provincial commander announced on Monday.
“We have discovered a sum of over 8 tons of narcotics in Sistan and Balouchestan province in the first three months of the current year (March 21-June 21),” Provincial Police Chief Hossein Rahimi told reporters today.
He noted that the amount of the illicit drugs discovered in the first three months of the current year shows a 26 percent increase as compared with the corresponding period in the last year.
According to official estimates, Iran’s battle against drugs cost the country around $1 billion annually. Strategies pursued by Tehran include digging canals, building barriers and installing barbed wire to seal the country’s borders, specially in the East.
While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.
Iran has long complained that the global community, specially the western nations, do not contribute their role in the campaign against drugs, saying that Iran is making lone efforts to block the transit of narcotics from Afghanistan to Europe and the US. Meantime, the Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states.
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