Iran raps minimal global support for anti-drug fight
Iran has slammed the world community’s failure to fulfill its responsibility to deal with the global scourge of narcotics, saying the level of the international fight against armed drug traffickers has so far been “minimal.”
Addressing the Third Committee on International Drug Control in New York, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Hossein Dehqani said drug trafficking, with all its social and economic ramifications, is among the most serious menaces facing the world.
“The International community should fulfill its obligation to support Afghanistan for alternative livelihood and provide affected countries in the front line of confronting armed drug smugglers with technical and financial assistance,” Dehqani said.
He stressed the importance of ratcheting up the campaign against drug smuggling under the current circumstances as a result of the nexus formed between traffickers and terrorists.
He added that terrorist and criminal groups are increasingly banding together in an attempt to use the proceeds to expand their criminal and terrorist activities in the region and across the world.
Referring to several drug-related challenges that Iran has been encountering, Dehqani said, almost 4,000 [Iranian] law enforcement officers have paid the highest price and more than 12,000 of them have become permanently disabled in their fight against armed narcotics smugglers who intended to transit their commodities westward.
The Iranian envoy noted that the country has single-handedly invested $700 million to control its eastern border areas.
“As recognized by UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), almost 90 percent of the narcotics seizure around the world is recorded by Iran,” he said.
Dehqani expressed regret that the areas under illicit opium poppy cultivation across the world in 2014 were the largest since 1998, with a 7 percent increase in Afghanistan.
He warned of an “alarming rate” at which poppy cultivation is growing in Afghanistan and noted that the production of opium in 2014 was estimated to have reached 7,500 tons compared to 5,500 tons the year before.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.