0844 GMT January 26, 2021
Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Police Chief Brigadier General Majid Karimi on Monday underlined the need for expansion of cooperation between Tehran and Kabul in fight against drug trafficking.
Karimi made the remarks in a meeting with Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister for Counter-Narcotics Hashem Aurtaq who travelled to Tehran at the head of a delegation, according to IRNA.
Pointing to the two countries’ common borders, the Iranian official said, "Unfortunately, more than 500 km of the common border between the two countries has been abandoned by Afghanistan, which has resulted in increase in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Iran”.
Referring to the constructive cooperation between the two countries, Karimi said, "Planning joint operations and border patrols at specified times will make the areas insecure for the smugglers."
Every year, Iranian forces confiscate hundreds of tons of drugs smuggled from Afghanistan which is the biggest producer of opium in the world.
Iran has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan and has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.
Despite high economic and human costs and the brutal sanctions imposed by Western countries on Iran, the country has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades.
In June, Karimi said the sanctions have stymied Iran’s capacity to fight drug trafficking by depriving it of the necessary equipment.
“Brutal sanctions against Iran have made fighting drug trafficking difficult. We need advanced equipment to fight drug smuggling, but the sanctions have caused problems for us in acquiring the equipment.”