Iran-EU entering new phase of cooperation in anti-narcotic campaign

Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA – Managing Director of Anti-Narcotics Campaign Headquarters’ International Affairs Office on Saturday demanded Europe’s practical cooperation with Iran in exchange of information and modern facilities, such as X-ray machines, for easier discovery of smuggled narcotics.

Mahmoud Bayat made the demand in a meeting with EU’s Special Envoy France in Afghanistan Michelle Millben at Iran Anti-Narcotics Campaign Headquarters, arguing that the poppy flower plantation status in Afghanistan has become a major problem for Iran.

‘It is necessary to move towards substitute cultivation of useful crops in the origin so that in Iran and in Europe and other places in the world the police forces and concerned organizations’ problems will be decreased meaningfully,’ said Bayat.

He said that From Afghanistan to Europe the benefit of smuggled narcotics is outrageously high and the bulk part of that benefit is taken by the terrorist organizations, which is why drying that origin is of utmost importance today keeping in mind the current status of not only the addicts in Iran and Europe, but also the terrorists that have become a great menace for world peace and security.

EU’s Special Envoy France in Afghanistan Michelle Millben, too, said that poppy plantation in Afghanistan today differs with its cultivation there in the past.

He acknowledged that the UN and the EU have not achieved much success in efforts aimed at changing the Afghan nation’s way of earning income, arguing that such an effort is both very costly and very time-consuming.

The EU diplomat considered Iran’s role in this campaign as very precious and asked for greater cooperation with Iran in its anti-narcotics campaign, which he said he believed will be more effective than the efforts made in Afghanistan.

‘Up to the year 2007 Europe and the United States, and even the NATO’s ISAF did not have any anti-narcotics activity in Afghanistan but ever since then they have all realized the great importance of campaign against narcotics there,’ he said.

He also referred to the high decrease in Western forces’ number in Afghanistan, save for those who have stayed there to assist the Afghan force to ensure security.

Millben at the end proposed that Iran and EU will prepare a list for joint efforts in their anti-narcotics campaign so that he will in a fortnight present it to concerned officials in Vienna and pursue the matter personally there.