Iran stops transit of 500 tons of drugs into EU in year

TEHRAN, Dec. 15 (MNA) – Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani-Fazli says Iran seizes almost 500 tons of narcotics every year, preventing the transit of a large part of drugs trafficked from Afghanistan that are destined for Europe.

The remarks were made by Rahmani Fazli, who doubles as the secretary general of the country's Drug Control Headquarters, in the meeting with Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner on the sidelines of the anti-narcotics meeting held in UN headquarters in Austrian capital. 

Rahmani Fazli noted the Islamic Republic’s effective role in fighting terrorism and extremism in the region, saying “achieving success in dealing effectively with terrorist groups depends on serious and honest cooperation with all countries wishing for the establishment of peace, stability and security in the world.”

He also voiced Iran’s readiness for holding the first senior officials meeting on fighting illicit drugs with 31 countries located on the transit route (the Balkan route) starting from Afghanistan, passing through Iran and destined for countries in South-East, Central and Western Europe. The meeting will be focused on the topics of anti-money laundering and the implementation of joint control projects.

The Austrian official, for his part, commended Iranian efforts in earnest fight against drug smugglers, adding “over half of the heroin international smugglers plan to smuggle into Europe from Afghanistan is seized by Iran.”  

Mikl-Leitner also highlighted the need for cooperation on fighting narcotics between Iran and Austria as two countries situated on the Balkan route.

She further expressed her appreciation over close cooperation between the Islamic Republic’s Interpol and Austria’s Interpol, saying her country is fully prepared to extend bilateral cooperation in various fields related to joint missions with Iran’s Interior Ministry.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli arrived in Vienna on Monday to attend the international anti-narcotics meeting. He addressed the meeting where he emphasized that the drug mega-business had affected Afghanistan’s neighbors and far beyond in addition to inflicting severe damage to Afghanistan itself.

Iran lies on a main transit route for the smuggling of opium and heroin from Afghanistan or Pakistan which are destined for countries across the Middle East and in Europe. According to reports, Iran has spent 700 million dollars to build a wall along its 1,800-kilometer border with Afghanistan and Pakistan in a bid to clamp down on smugglers.

 

MS/IRN81878615

 

News Code 112847

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