Iran has called on international organizations and all countries across the globe to work together closely to combat narcotics.
“The Iranian people and government seriously expect international organizations and world countries to boost their cooperation and interaction to discharge the heavy and great responsibility of fighting drug trafficking,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The top Iranian diplomat made the comment in a meeting with Leik Boonwaat, the new representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Tehran on Wednesday.
Zarif pointed to the good Iran-UNODC cooperation and expressed the Islamic Republic’s resolve and readiness to continue to work with the UN in the fight against illicit drugs.
He stressed that the drug trade goes hand in hand with terrorism and extremism across the world, adding that these scourges jeopardize global peace, stability and security.
Despite the huge financial and human costs of the war on drugs, Zarif said, Iran has been at the forefront of the campaign against narcotics, by which means it has contributed to regional and global peace.
Boonwaat, for his part, lauded Iran for working in tandem with the UN in fighting drugs and urged the country to press ahead with its close cooperation with the world body in combating narcotics.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used by smugglers as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Over the past three decades, the country has spent millions of dollars to seal its borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
The war on drug trade, a lucrative business originating in Afghanistan, has also claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers.