Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN has called on relevant international bodies to firmly counter drugs production and smuggling in Afghanistan. Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday, Gholam-Hossein Dehqani said the continued increase in poppy cultivation and drug trafficking in Afghanistan indicate that preventative measures have not yielded the expected results and that the international community has unfortunately failed to curb the menace so far.
“We strongly believe that those who carry the responsibility to combat narcotic drugs on behalf of the international community should think of more robust projects” to eliminate poppy cultivation, narcotics trafficking and proceeds from drug trade, he added.He pointed to a rise in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and said not only has the production of illicit drugs affected the Afghan economic growth, but it has also undermined security in the country as well as in the whole region. “The narcotic drug problem remains one of the serious challenges that Afghanistan is facing. This menace has hindered the advancement of the country towards development and has put the security of Afghanistan along with that of the region in danger,” he said. The Iranian ambassador said that the income from drug trade has turned into a financial source for terrorist groups, helping them to step up efforts to further destabilize Afghanistan and leave a negative impact on the security of the region. The United Nations reports indicate that narcotics production and drug smuggling have increased in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to kingpins in Europe. Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trafficking over the past three decades. AR/NN/HMV