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Iran, Afghanistan to Carry Out Joint Anti-Narcotic Operations

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TEHRAN, June 20 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian interior ministry official announced that Tehran and Kabul plan to carry out joint operations against drug-traffickers.
Monday, June 20, 2011 10:15:09 PM
Iran, Afghanistan to Carry Out Joint Anti-Narcotic Operations

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi made the remarks after a meeting of Iran-Afghanistan joint security workshop on Monday.

Abdollahi said that the two sides discussed campaign against terrorism, drug-trafficking and extremism during the meeting as both Iran and Afghanistan have been the victim of such illegal activities.

He further underlined that Iranian and Afghan officials have decided to take pragmatic steps in their fight against drug production and trafficking.

Iran leads international efforts in fighting drug networks and narcotic traffickers. According to the statistical figures released by the UN, Iran ranks first among the world countries in preventing entry of drugs and decreasing demand for narcotics.

Iran lies on a transit corridor between opium producing Afghanistan and drug dealers in Europe.

The Islamic Republic has emerged as the leading country fighting drug trafficking after making 85 percent of the world's total opium seizures.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has lost more than 3,700 of its security forces in its war against drug smuggling.

Over the past five years, it has contributed more than $50 million annually to Afghan anti-narcotics efforts.

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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