Police Chief: Iran Working with Persian Gulf States against Drug Rings
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian police are cooperating with Persian Gulf littoral states in joint operations against the international drug-trafficking bands, Iranian Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam said Monday.
“In a number of joint (police) operations with UAE, Omani and Saudi officers, we managed to dismantle a number of big drug-trafficking bands,” he said in a ceremony attended by the military attachés of different countries in Tehran.
General Ahmadi Moqaddam announced the readiness of the Iranian police to cooperation with police forces of other countries, saying the Iranian police force extends a hand of friendship to other countries’ police forces and is ready to exchange experiences with them.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the police chief referred to the capabilities of the Iranian police officers in patrolling the country’s long borders, saying, “Although the Iranian borders are (close to) centers of insecurity, we have managed to enforce good border control, and nowadays we are present along 85% of our borders.”
"To control our borders we have used electronic, radar and optical systems, dug canals and placed barbed wire and other impediments, and these investments by the border police have changed the transit route of drugs," Ahmadi Moqaddam added.
In recent decades Iran has been hit by drug-trafficking, mainly because of its 936- kilometer shared border with Afghanistan, which supplies over 90% of the world's opium, the raw ingredient of heroin.
The United Nations has estimated in the past that opium trafficking accounts for up 15 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product, but the figure is expected to rise as international military and development spending declines with the NATO withdrawal at the end of 2014.
Iran is on a major transit route for drugs being smuggled from Afghanistan to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the country's war on drug-traffickers has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police forces over the past 34 years.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Iran is netting eight times more opium and three times more heroin than all other countries in the world combined.