Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's police seized about 587 kilograms of various drugs in the country's southern province of Hormozgan.
The province's deputy Police Commander Soltan Ali Azizi said that some 310.4 kilograms of opium and 277 kilograms of hashish were seized from smugglers in the province's Minab city, Iranian ISNA news agency reported on April 3.
The narcotics were found and seized during an operation, which led to the arrest of 4 drug smugglers, Azizi added.
Iran is situated on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf States. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometres of common border with Afghanistan, over which 74 percent of opium is smuggled.
It was reported that some 500 tons of drugs were seized in the country during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 21).
Iran has recently established a central database and strengthened police-judiciary cooperation in a new effort to combat organized crime.
Iranian interior minister Abdol Reza Rahmani Fazli said on March 18 that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Forces will undertake control of border roads, to control narcotic smuggling into the country.
According to the official estimates, the fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion. The statistics also say there are about two million drug users in Iran.
Every year, Iran burns more than 60 tons of seized narcotics as a symbol of its determination to fight drugs.