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Iran, UNODC ink anti-narcotics agreement

Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli

Tehran has signed an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to fight the flow of narcotics into Iran from neighboring countries, mainly Afghanistan.

The document was signed by Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Monday.

The UNODC Country Partnership Program outlines a five-year program between Iran and the UNODC under which the Islamic Republic will be provided with USD 20 million for a range of activities, including border control and judicial processes.

Following the signing ceremony, Rahmani Fazli, who doubles as the secretary general of the country's Drug Control Headquarters, told Press TV that despite the UNODC's efforts, Iran is still not witnessing adequate efforts from various countries to tackle problems like the laundering of money through drug trade.

Iran has still not received a response to its proposal for a joint delivery control operation on narcotics, he said.

After signing the agreement, Rahmani Fazli and Fedotov took part in a high-level meeting with Partners of Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries, which is currently underway in the Austrian capital.

Attended by high-ranking officials from Afghanistan's neighboring countries, the meeting kicked off on Monday to discuss how to eliminate the business of illicit drugs in the region.

The Iranian minister is expected to deliver a speech at the international anti-narcotics meeting.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.

Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trafficking over the past three decades.

Iran has spent more than USD 700 million to seal the borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries. The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past 34 years.

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