Iran, Russia to step up war on drugs
Iran and Russia, both of which are located on the drug transit route from Afghanistan to Europe, are cooperating on fighting drug trafficking and are intent on expanding the cooperation.
As a considerable amount of the drugs destined for Europe remain in Iran and Russia, the two countries have decided to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking, IRNA cited a report by The Voice of Russia radio station on Friday.
According to the report, Deputy Head of Russia's Drug Control Service Alexander Mikhailov pointed to the experience Iran has gained in the fight against illegal narcotics smuggled from Afghanistan and said Iran's anti-drug operations have been successful.
Iran and Russia signed their first agreement to combat drug trafficking in late 2010, which stipulated the organization and execution of joint operations to block drug trafficking channels, the report continued.
The report added that Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar and Director of Russia's Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics Viktor Ivanov would be meeting in the near future to discuss joint operations to close off drug trafficking conduits.
With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) common border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Iran has spent more than USD 700 million to seal the borders and prevent 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 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.