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Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan Meet on Anti-Narcotics Cooperation
Posted by The Agonist on November 29th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Tehran/Fars(Iran) – Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar met with senior Afghan, Pakistani and UN officials in Kabul to discuss campaign against drug plantation, production and trafficking.

During their second meeting on Monday morning, Najjar, Afghan Counternarcotics Minister Ahmad Moqbel Zarar, Pakistan’s Narcotics Control Minister Haji Khuda Bux Rajar and the United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC) executive director discussed cooperation in campaign against drug plantation, production and trafficking.

The first round of quadrilateral talks among the anti-narcotics officials of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UN was held Sunday night.

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Najjar, heading a delegation, arrived in the Afghan capital city of Kabul on Sunday evening.

Eastern Iran borders Afghanistan, which is the world’s number one opium and drug producer. Iran’s geographical position has made the country a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe.

Iran spends billions of dollars and has lost thousands of its police troops in the war against traffickers. Owing to its rigid efforts, Iran makes 89 percent of the world’s total opium seizures and has turned into the leading country in drug campaign.

The United Nations credits Iran with the seizure of 89 percent of the opium and 41 percent of the heroin netted around the world.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian police have lost more than 3700 of their personnel in the country’s combat against narcotics.

During the last Iranian year (ended on March 20,) Iran seized more than 1,000 tons of opium smuggled from Afghanistan, the largest producer of opium poppy in the world.

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 10 years ago.

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