Iran calls for depoliticization of anti-narcotics efforts

Iran calls for depoliticization of anti-narcotics efforts

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Monday that anti-narcotics efforts should not be politicized, IRNA reported.

Salehi made the remark in a meeting with visiting Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov in Tehran.

Referring to the close relationship between terrorism and narcotics, he called for more active role by the international community in fighting drug trafficking.

Pointing to the Islamic Republic of Iran's efforts to combat drug trafficking, Salehi urged the international community to pay due attention to such endeavours.

Fedotov, for his part, described Islamic Republic of Iran as a vital and strategic partner of UNODC.

Appreciating Tehran's cooperation with UNODC, he called on regional countries to attach more importance to anti-narcotics drive.

Fedotov arrived in Tehran on Monday on a three-day official visit, which would also take him to the borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a drugs rehabilitation centre.

During his stay, Fedotov will meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and several other senior officials to discuss counter-narcotics efforts since Iran has the world's highest rate of seizures of opium and heroin and is contributing effectively to various regional mechanisms.

He will discuss with the President of Iran enhanced cooperation, increased technical dialogue with the international community and active participation in the forthcoming UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran accounts for the highest rate of opium (89%) and heroin/morphine (41%) seizures in the world, according to the UNODC World Drug Report 2011.

With drug trafficking and related crimes presenting grave threats to regional and international security, Fedotov commended the government for its commitment to curbing this trade.

This year, UNODC launched a four-year Country Program of Technical Cooperation on Drugs and Crime developed in cooperation with the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters and international partners.

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