Iran: US, Israel assist drug dealers
Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar
Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar says Israel and US intelligence agency (CIA) have taken up a campaign to push Iranian youth towards drug addiction.
“The Zionists and CIA agents in the region assist drug dealers at Iran's joint borders with Afghanistan,” Mohammad-Najjar said on Thursday.
“These [so-called] advocates of human rights have undertaken the task of investing in the production of industrial drugs from traditional ones and supplying them to Iran's market,” IRNA quoted Mohammad-Najjar as saying.
The Iranian minister said Afghanistan is one of the major centers of producing drugs, and Iran's enemies assist drug dealers in exporting narcotics.
Afghanistan continues to account for 90 percent of the world's illicit opium and heroin production, the UN drug monitoring body said in its 2010 report.
The poppy cultivation and drug trade in Afghanistan has cost Iran a heavy toll. More than 3,700 Iranian counter-narcotics officers have lost their lives in the anti-drug campaign.
With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) common border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan narcotics to drug dealers in Europe.
Iran has spent more than $700 millions to seal its borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
According to the UN, the Islamic Republic ranks first among world governments in enforcement measures for shutting down drug routes into its territory.
Iran accuses the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance and US forces of involvement in the flow of narcotics from Afghanistan to other parts of the world.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan by US-led forces in 2001, drug production and trade in the country has significantly surged.