West not fulfilling shared duty in drug trafficking battle

TEHRAN, Mar. 02 (MNA) – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the Western countries for lack of commitment to their share of responsibility in the fight against drug trafficking, an issue that Iran has been grappling with for decades.

“Unfortunately, Western countries have not yet paid any contribution to the fight against drug trafficking," Zarif told Mehr News on Tuesday.

Referring to the significance of collective effort in the battle against drug trafficking, Zarif said, "Such efforts and sacrifices do not just benefit the Iranian nation... they serve the people of other countries."

The top diplomat said, "We continue to make sacrifices in the fight against drug trafficking because of our commitment to international law and, of course, our commitment to the people of our country.”

However, he noted that the Islamic Republic’s “equipment and capabilities in this regard are limited,” and if such needs are not supplied, Iran will definitely think of other priorities in this area.

Besides the lack of commitment by the Western countries in the fight against drug trafficking, the illegal anti-Iran sanctions have also stymied the country’s capacity to fight drug trafficking by depriving it of the necessary equipment.

Iran shares 1,600 kilometers of border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and lies on the main trafficking route for poppy, the source of opium and heroin, from Afghanistan to Western Europe.

The country believes the international community must take joint responsibility and resume technical contributions to control drug trafficking and its impacts in the region and beyond.

Iran is at the forefront of the fight against drug trafficking and thousands of Iranian forces have been so far martyred to protect the world from the danger of drugs. Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades.

The country has spent more than $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab, and Central Asian countries.

The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.

MR/5159723

News Code 170580

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