Iran, Azerbaijan to fight drug trafficking: Iranian official
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 26 / Trend T.Jafarov /
Iran is ready to fight against drug trafficking together with Azerbaijan.
"We told Azerbaijan that we are ready to exert maximum efforts to combat drug smuggling, but parallel to that Azerbaijan itself has to step up control," Iran's new Border Service Commander Maj. Gen. Hussein Zulfugar told Trend in Baku today. "Persons engaged in drug smuggling route from Iran to Azerbaijan should be identified. Moreover, the two countries should establish cooperation in this sphere."
About 128 Iranian citizens are serving prison sentences in Azerbaijan and 100 of them have been convicted of drugs-related crimes.
Several gangs have been neutralized in Azerbaijan in connection with drug trafficking after bringing narcotics along the Iran-Azerbaijan and Russia-Azerbaijan routes.
Zulfugar said Iran has been severely damaged by drugs-related problems.
"Narcotics are grown on the eastern border. We confiscate 500 tons of drugs annually," Zulfugar said "We have taken the necessary steps on the eastern border, and engaged in armed clashes with smugglers. In the fight against drugs we have lost over 4,000 lives."
He added that no country has likely invested as much money and efforts in fighting drugs as Iran.
Zulfugar said Iran must prevent the cultivation of narcotics in Afghanistan and other countries in the region.
"Otherwise, the problem will grow. To prevent drugs-related crimes, we have to exchange information with neighboring countries," he added.
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