TEHRAN (FNA)- The drug combat squads of Iran’s police, Basij (Voluntary), and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have seized more than 9,000 kilograms of illicit drugs in Isfahan province in the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21, 2014), a senior provincial official announced on Saturday.
“Over 9 tons of various kinds of narcotics have been seized from drug traffickers by the Iranian Law Enforcement, Basij Force and IRGC in the first three months of the current year,” Representative of the Coordination Council of the Drug Combat Directorate in Isfahan province Nabiollah Shahmohammadi said.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states.
According to official estimates, Iran’s battle against drugs cost the country around $1 billion annually. Strategies pursued by Tehran include digging canals, building barriers and installing barbed wire to seal the country’s borders, specially in the East.
Iran has long complained that the global community, specially the western nations, do not contribute their role in the campaign against drugs, saying that Iran is making lone efforts to block the transit of narcotics from Afghanistan to Europe and the US. Meantime, 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.
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