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Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:35PM
An Iranian border guard looks through a pair of binoculars to monitor a border area for drug trafficking activities. (File photo)

An Iranian border guard looks through a pair of binoculars to monitor a border area for drug trafficking activities. (File photo)

Tehran and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have joined hands to fight the flow of narcotics into Iran from neighboring countries, mainly Afghanistan, Press TV reports.

On Thursday, the UNODC representative, Leik Boonwaat, met with Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli in Tehran to exchange views on ways to prevent narcotics trafficking.

In an interview with Press TV following the talks, the UN official hailed the Islamic Republic’s efforts in fighting drug trafficking as “commendable” and said, “Every assistance should be extended to Iran in this global effort.”

The Iranian interior minister, for his part, reaffirmed Tehran’s support for the international campaign to combat narcotics trafficking and opium plantation in Afghanistan.

The UNODC needs to provide the Islamic Republic with more accurate data on the “main heroin trafficking corridors linking Afghanistan to the huge [drug] markets” in Europe, added Rahmani Fazli.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used by smugglers as the main conduit for the smuggling of 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.

According to the UNODC World Drug Report 2013, Iran accounted for the highest rate of opium seizures (80 percent) as well as heroin seizures (30 percent) in the world this year.

MKA/HMV/SS