Iran’s drug combat squads have seized over 22,000 tons of illicit drugs in the Central province of Yazd in the last Iranian year (ended March 20), a provincial anti-narcotics official announced on Monday.
“We have seized 22,279 kilograms of narcotics from drug traffickers in the province,” Head of Yazd Anti-Drug Coordinating Council Ali Roustayee told reporters today.
Last week, Iranian Deputy Police Chief Brigadier General Eskander Momeni announced that the Law Enforcement police’s seizure of illicit drugs has increased by nearly one third over a short period.
“We have seized 126 tons of narcotics in countrywide operations in the past 2.5 months which shows a 30 percent rise compared with the figures of the similar period in the last year,” Brigadier General Momeni said, addressing a ceremony in Western Tehran province.
He, meantime, called on all concerned bodies to help the police in its arduous anti-drug campaign.
Earlier this month, a senior official announced that the drug combat squads of the country’s Law Enforcement Police had seized more than 100,000 kilograms of illicit drugs in countrywide operations in the first two months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2015 –May 22, 2015).
“The Iranian police have seized over 100 tons of narcotics in the first two months of the current year showing a 34 percent rise as compared to last year’s corresponding period,” Deputy Head of Iran’s Anti-Drug Headquarters Alireza Jazini told reporters in the city of Kerman, Southeastern Iran.
He noted that opium, crystal and heroin comprise most of the illicit drugs seized from drug traffickers in Iran.
The Iranian anti-narcotic police have always staged periodic, but short-term, operations against drug traffickers and dealers, but the latest reports – which among others indicate an improved and systematic dissemination of information – reveal that the world’s most forefront and dedicated anti-narcotic force (as UN drug-campaign assessments put it) has embarked on a long-term countrywide plan to crack down on the drug trade since five years ago.
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.
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.
Afghan and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that allies have “overlooked” the drug problem since invading the country 13 years ago.