Iran, UNODC ink agreement on battling drug

TEHRAN (ISNA)- The Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed a cooperation agreement on fighting drug trafficking.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdulreza Rahmani-Fazli and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov inked an agreement in Vienna at the end of partners of Afghanistan and neighboring countries conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

He arrived in Vienna at top of a delegation to join the conference.

Speaking in the conference, Rahmani-Fazli stressed the need for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to promote its programs to practically fight against illicit drugs.

Rahmani-Fazli hailed the meeting as a “worthy and admirable move” in the current situation in which producing and trafficking narcotics have affected Afghanistan and its neighboring and regional states.

He emphasized, however, that the UNODC’s Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries should improve its “conference-oriented” mechanism to a “functional-operational” one, whose results would be tangible once the program is fully implemented.

The Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries covers UNODC support to anti-drug trafficking efforts in the countries of Central Asia.

He is scheduled to hold meetings with high-ranking Austrian officials, including Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner during his visit to the European country.

In recent decades, Iran has been hit by drug trafficking, mainly because of its 936-kilometer shared border with Afghanistan, which produces more than 90% of the world’s opium.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Islamic Republic is netting eight times more opium and three times more heroin than all other countries in the world combined.

The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.