Iranian Police Seize over 22 Tons of Narcotics in 21 Days

Iranian Police Seize over 22 Tons of Narcotics in 21 Days
The drug combat squads of Iran’s Law Enforcement Police have seized more than 22 tons of illicit drugs across the country in less than one month of operations, a senior Iranian anti-drug official announced on Wednesday.

“We have seized a sum of 22,500 kilograms of narcotics from drug traffickers in the past 21 days, including 15,252 kilograms of opium,” Deputy Head of Iran’s Anti-Drug Headquarters Assadollah Hadinejad said on Wednesday.

He noted that the Law Enforcement police also arrested 778 drug traffickers in the said period.

Iran lies on a transit corridor between opium producing Afghanistan and drug dealers in Europe.

The Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.

Afghan and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that allies have “overlooked” the drug problem since invading the country 13 years ago.