Detection of Narcotics Improving

Nearly 80% of morphine and opium-based drugs in the world are seized by Iran.Nearly 80% of morphine and opium-based drugs in the world are seized by Iran.

The rate of illicit drugs detection improved significantly during the first nine months of the current fiscal year that ends in March, due to the import of drug control devices.

The deal between Iran and the world powers in July 2015 to end sanctions enabled the import of advanced drug control and detection equipment “making it possible to undertake more sting operations and discover hidden drugs with precision,” said Parviz Afshar, a deputy at Iran Drug Control Headquarters.

A total of 538 tons of drugs were detected during the period, of which 424 tons was opium, an 18% increase compared to the same period last year, and 85,000 kg hashish, a rise of 16%.

Methamphetamine, however, had declined by 5% and other less common narcotics by 81%, due to changes in the consumption patterns and more tendencies towards substances such as marijuana.

Around 90% of detections this year were made by the Law Enforcement Forces and the rest by the Intelligence Ministry (7%) and Basij volunteer forces (3%), respectively.

“When the sanctions were in place, we couldn’t acquire modern devices such as detecting tools, checkpoint instruments and night vision cameras, as well as sniffer dogs, which was a great challenge to our anti-narcotics forces in their operations,” Afshar was quoted as saying by the Persian-language newspaper ‘Iran.’

Besides, the repairs and maintenance of x-ray machines at customs offices and border stations could not be undertaken because spare parts were not available.

 Major Contribution

Iran had repeatedly urged the world community to exclude drug control equipment from the list of embargoed goods during the sanctions period, given the country’s enormous contribution in identification and seizure of narcotics, but the requests fell on deaf ears.

Nearly 80% of morphine and opium-based drugs in the world are seized by Iran.

The country which has a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan has for decades been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan opium to drug kingpins and crime syndicates in Europe and beyond.

The Iranian government has spent more than $700 million to seal its borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries. The war on the drugs originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past three decades.

Lifting of sanctions opened the way for importing the much-needed tools and spare parts.

While components needed for the repair of equipment have been imported, authorities have held negotiations with several countries for the purchase of sniffer dogs and other important equipment.

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