'Drug trafficking to Iran cut by one-third'
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 08:52:36 GMT
Iran's Border Police Commander Brigadier General Hossein Zolfaqari says the smuggling of narcotics into the country declined by 30 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year.
The commander also said that 130 tons of drugs were confiscated on the country's borders during the past Iranian year (March 21, 2010 to March 20, 2011), Mehr news agency reported.
According to Zolfaqari, thirty border guards were killed in clashes with drug smugglers during the same period.
The commander said Iran has built canals and concrete walls and has installed barbed wire among other fortifications on the borders in order to stem the flow of smuggled goods into the country.
According to the United Nations, Iran ranks first among all countries in shutting down drug routes into its territories.
With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) common border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Afghanistan continues to account for 90 percent of the world's illicit opium and heroin production, according to the UN.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.
Iran has spent more than $700 millions to seal the borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
Iran blames growing drug trafficking from Afghanistan to other parts of the world on foreign military presence in the war-ravaged country.