Tuesday, 14 July, 2020

Iran seized ‘world’s largest amount of narcotics’ despite US sanctions: Envoy

Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has hailed the country’s battle against drug trafficking, saying the Islamic Republic managed to confiscate the world’s largest amount of narcotics over the past years despite illegal US sanctions.

Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks on Friday at a special commemorative event of the 63rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, devoted to the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

He said that Iran has over the past four decades suffered “irreparable financial and human losses” in its anti-drug fight.

Last year, he added, a total of 30 Iranian forces were killed and injured in 2,319 operations, which led to the dismantling of 1,886 international and domestic smuggling rings and the seizure of over 950 tons of drugs, including 47 tons of heroine and 17 tons of methamphetamine.

“The Islamic Republic has discovered and confiscated the world’s largest amount of narcotics for many years while it has been subject to unilateral, illegal and illegitimate US sanctions and deprived of the international community’s help,” Gharibabadi said.

He also noted that Iran has adopted “a balanced approach” regarding the war on drug, comprising plans to reduce the demand for narcotics and raise awareness about its negative impacts.

The Iranian envoy further expressed regret over the increasing production of opium and psychotropic substances across the globe and its repercussions for the world’s development and stability.

He further called for boosting international cooperation as well as national and regional efforts to cope with the crisis.

“Any approach aimed at decriminalizing and legalizing certain types of drugs would undermine international efforts to achieve a world free of drug abuse,” Gharibabadi warned.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, is the main route by which drug smugglers ship narcotics from Afghan poppy fields to Europe. 

Also on Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a message on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, underlining the need to “build solutions based on facts and shared responsibility.”

“Together, we can develop sustainable alternatives to illicit drug crop cultivation; tackle drug trafficking and related organized crime; and advance justice responses as well as prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for drug use,” read the message.

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