Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
An Iranian border guard was killed during an armed confrontation with drug smugglers in the country's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The incident took place early morning on June 29 in the Iran-Pakistan border near the city of Saravan when the armed smugglers were crossing the border, Rohambakhsh Habibi, commander of the province's border guards said, Iran 's Fars news agency reported.
The smugglers left their drug consignment and escaped inside Pakistan after the police operation, the commander said, adding some 1.67 metric tons of drugs were seized from the smugglers.
The Iranian commander also accused Pakistan of neglecting the security issue of the joint border with Iran.
Habibi said that Iran has protested to Pakistan officially and the foreign ministry is pursuing the issue.
Iran is situated on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf States. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometers of common border with Afghanistan, over which 74 percent of opium is smuggled.
It was reported that some 490 metric tons of drugs were seized in the country during the last fiscal year (ended on March 20).
The fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion, according to the official estimates.
The statistics also say there are about two million drug users in Iran.
Last February, Rouzbeh Kardouni, the head of Social Vulnerabilities Office at the Iranian Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare said that annually about 450 metric tons of opium is used in Iran, which is equal to 42 percent of total opium consumption in the world.
Edited by CN
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