Iran calls for effective UN-led approach to counter-narcotics

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TEHRAN – Eskandar Momeni, Director of the Anti-Narcotics Police Headquarters, has called on the United Nations to come up with a comprehensive and effective plan of action to curb opium cultivation and production and tackle the destructive problem of narcotics .

He made the remarks during the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held from March 14-18 in Vienna, Austria, ILNA reported.

In 2021, Iran managed to carry out around 5,000 counter-narcotics and armed conflict operations, to destroy more than 2,300 active local, regional and international gangs and networks and to fight against money laundering by applying effective laws and regulations.

During the above-mentioned operations, the anti-narcotics forces of the Islamic Republic discovered about 1,100 types of narcotics and psychotropic substances, including 62 tons of heroin and morphine, 835 tons of opium, 125 tons of cannabis and around 25 tons of methamphetamine from the global drug trafficking cycle.

Last year, some 14 of the best forces were killed in the fight against drug trafficking and 26 in the fight against disbelievers and terrorist groups.

Referring to Iran’s actions and achievements in the field of drug addiction prevention and treatment, Momeni said that a total of 9,002 licensed treatment centers in the country have provided services to 1,413,075 people.

The Islamic Republic has also paid particular attention to the establishment of women’s rehabilitation and empowerment centers and the use of the capacities of non-governmental organizations.

The presence of extra-regional powers, the link between drugs and terrorism, the lack of responsibility of certain countries, the lack of control and effective prevention of the financial flows of international traffickers are major challenges and the main driver of the growth of trafficking. of drugs in Western Asia and the world.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2021, the cultivation and production of opium poppy in Afghanistan has increased and, in the absence of serious attention, the country has become a center of production and trafficking of methamphetamine. .

He also warned against the transit of drugs from Afghanistan to European countries and called for serious and urgent action in this regard.

Criticizing that despite numerous UN documents and constant emphasis on the principle of shared responsibility, Iran has received the least international support, despite its global counter-narcotics actions, the welcoming more than a few million refugees and countering terrorist threats in the region, he noted that it is time for the United Nations to present a comprehensive and effective plan of action to curb the cultivation and production of opium to solve the devastating drug problem.

He also addressed the issue of unilateral sanctions against Iran, saying that some countries’ actions of imposing harsh sanctions against Iran, politicizing international cooperation and disrupting Iran’s relentless fight against the networks international drug trafficking constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, human rights and UN resolutions.

At the end, Momeni made suggestions to the Commission to reduce challenges and strengthen international efforts to combat drug trafficking, including comprehensive financial, technical and material support to countries at the forefront of the fight. against the international traffic in drugs and psychotropic substances.

Full cooperation of countries of origin, route and destination of shipments of medicinal substances to combat the diversion and illegal use of these in the production of drugs, targeting the financial flow of drug traffickers using all available capacities, he suggested, stressing the need for the United Nations to consider and adopt an effective approach to give serious attention to alternative culture, livelihoods and sustainable development in Afghanistan, in accordance with recent incidents and developments.

Iran holds the world record for confiscating narcotics

Iran holds the world record for narcotics confiscation, Momeni said in December 2021.

However, great achievements in the field of countermeasures have been achieved, and the United Nations has officially announced that 90% of opium, 70% of morphine and 20% of heroin in the world have been discovered by the Iran.

Last year, about 1,200 tons of drugs were discovered, the highest discovery rate in the world,” he explained.

According to figures released by the United Nations in 2000, Afghanistan produced around 200 tons of narcotics, but in 2018 it rose to 9,500 tons.

In other words, the production of narcotics has increased fifty-fold, which has doubled the need for prevention efforts, he pointed out.

Despite the conditions caused by the coronavirus epidemic and the imposition of severe sanctions against the country, fortunately, thanks to anti-narcotics police efforts in 2020, drug detection increased by 41%.

After the Islamic revolution (in 1979), 3,800 were martyred, 12,000 were injured and maimed in the fight against drug trafficking.

UNODC hailed Iran’s efforts to combat drug trafficking on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The organization also officially announced that the world’s first place in the discovery of opium, heroin and morphine belongs to Iran.

According to the UNODC, Iran remains one of the main transit routes for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to European countries and has played a leading role globally in anti-drug campaigns.

UNODC’s World Drug Report 2020 estimates that in 2018, 91% of the world’s opium, 48% of the world’s morphine and 26% of the world’s heroin were seized by Iran.

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