Minister Complains about Lack of Int’l Support for Iran's Anti-Narcotics Efforts

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian interior minister expressed dissatisfaction with lack of international support for the country's war on narcotics, saying the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should enhance efforts to help Iran tackle the menace to the international community.

Minister Complains about Lack of Int’l Support for Iran's Anti-Narcotics Efforts

The United Nation’s supports for Iran in the costly and laborious process of fighting illicit drugs "are nearly zero," Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who is also head of the country's anti-drugs headquarters, said in a meeting with Head of the UNODC Tehran Office Leik Boonwaat, on Saturday.

Calling on the global organizations to assist the Islamic Republic in the campaign against drugs, Fazli said Iran’s success would in turn secure the international success in countering the threat posed by narcotics.

The minister further noted that Iran has seized 450 tons of illicit drugs during the first 9 months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21, 2013), and underlined that the figure shows a 20 percent jump from the previous year.

Boonwaat, for his part, praised the Islamic Republic for its considerable efforts in the fight against narcotics, and stated that Iran's measures could inspire the other countries to come up with plans in the anti-drugs measures.

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.

A common complaint from Afghan farmers is that traditional crops, grown legally, do not bring them enough money, and that in the absence of irrigation systems and canals in a country with erratic weather conditions and widespread draught, poppy fares much better than water-intensive crops such as cotton or fruits.

The farmers cannot cultivate wheat, maize or cotton without a sufficient water supply.

The Afghan government, with the help of some donor countries, has initiated opium eradication programs, but many farmers say promises to provide high-quality seeds and fertilizer, carry out developmental projects and promote alternative careers have not been kept.

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