Iranian Commander Highlights NATO's Failure in Fighting Afghan Drug
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s anti-narcotics police chief questioned NATO’s ability to stem poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, saying Afghan drug production has even seen a rise following the presence of the NATO-led forces in the war-torn country.
“When NATO entered Afghanistan, it created expectations of a decline in narcotics production there, but unfortunately, not only were the expectation not met, but the Afghan narcotics production rose even by 40 percent,” General Ali Moayedi said in a meeting with a delegation from Sweden, held in Tehran on Sunday.
The commander also deplored what he called a “targeted increase” in the production of narcotics in neighboring Afghanistan.
Levelling a greater deal of criticism at the NATO for its inability to handle the situation in Afghanistan, General Moayedi said the drug traffickers in that country are surprisingly in possession of weapons that are used by the NATO forces.
The weapons of NATO origin confiscated from the traffickers suggest that “we are not confronting mere drug dealers, but we encounter armed smugglers that are acting in an organized manner,” added the commander.
He further pointed to the price Iran has paid over the past three decades to fight against drugs, noting that the Islamic Republic’s war on drug-traffickers has claimed the lives of nearly 3,700 police forces, while another 1,200 staff have been paralyzed in the line of duty.
Iran is on a major transit route for drugs being smuggled from Afghanistan to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In recent decades Iran has been hit by drug trafficking, mainly because of its 936- kilometer shared border with Afghanistan, where the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says accounts for 90% of the world’s opium.
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.