Official Complains of Lack of Int’l Support for Iran against Narcotics
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An official with the Iranian Anti-Narcotic Drugs Campaign Headquarters met a UN representative on Saturday when he criticized the international community for its apathy towards Iran’s combat against drug trafficking.
Deputy Head of the Iranian Anti-Narcotic Drugs Campaign Headquarters for Demand Reduction Babak Dinparast said as Iran abuts Afghanistan – the largest producer of opium and heroin in the world – and straddles major trafficking routes to Europe and American continents, it has paid dearly in its narcotic drugs campaign.
He said that in addition to paying the material price, during the past 34 years Iran has seen more than 3,700 of its police and armed forces killed and over 12,000 others rendered disabled in its campaign against narcotic drugs.
“These services and loss of lives come as many western countries have turned a blind eye to Iran’s efforts in this campaign against narcotics, and the international community has failed to provide the country with the slightest amount of support in this respect,” said Dinparast.
He added that the role of the United Nations and its offices in attracting and consolidating cooperation is undeniable, saying that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Tehran has managed to establish a good level of cooperation between the regional countries.
The UN resident coordinator in Iran who is also the representative of the UN Development Program (UNDP) in the country, too, said that the international community has realized the devastating consequences of narcotic drugs and their abuse for the young generation and the families.
Garry Louis added, “I believe the youth who have lost their lives or body parts in campaign against narcotic drugs trafficking have not dedicated their lives only for Iran, but for the whole global community."
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.
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.