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Iran, Afghanistan Ink Security MoU

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TEHRAN, June 21 (ICANA) – Senior Iranian and Afghan officials in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the expansion of security cooperation between the two neighboring countries.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:04:34 PM
Iran, Afghanistan Ink Security MoU

The MoU was endorsed after two rounds of talks between the two countries' security officials within the Iran-Afghanistan Joint Security Workgroup with Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi and his Afghan counterpart Abdolrahman Rahman Moeen in attendance.

The senior Afghan delegation were also due to hold a meeting with Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and visit an exhibition of Iran's anti-narcotics police later in the day.

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.

Earlier, Abdollahi had announced that Tehran and Kabul plan to carry out joint operations against drug-traffickers.

He made the remarks after a meeting of Iran-Afghanistan Joint Security Workgroup 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.

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

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.

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

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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