US interrupting intl. campaign against drug trafficking: FM Zarif

TEHRAN, Jun. 25 (MNA) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rebuked the US’ sanctions for hindering the international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, saying Washington and a number of western countries are responsible for the consequences of such interruption.

“The US and some other western countries are responsible the consequences of impeding the campaign against drug trafficking,” Zarif addressed a conference in Tehran on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Trafficking and Abuse of Illicit Drugs.

The top diplomat referred to a report by the United Nations, saying that "today, Iran is the flag-bearer of the fight against drug trafficking."

“The martyrdom of more than 8,800 policemen with over 12,000 others being left disabled are the heavy cost Iran has so far paid for.”

Zarif stressed that Iran’s anti-narcotic measures are not merely restricted to its borders and have, rather, regional and international effects, due to its geographical situation and neighborhood with Afghanistan, which is the world’s biggest producer of traditional drugs.

The foreign minister noted that Iranian forces captured over 800 tons of opium last year, which accounts for 80% of the opium seized in the world.

He also rebuked some western governments for opposing the goal of "a world free of narcotic drugs".

“Ignoring the measures taken by supporters of free drug trafficking by raising the human rights issue, Iran works to promote public health by monitoring the corridors,” the minister said.

The Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trades originating from Afghanistan in the past four decades, despite its high economic and human costs. The country has spent more than hundreds of millions of dollars on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.

MNA/4649233

News Code 146843

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