Baku, Azerbaijan, June 24
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
Iran’s police seized over 1.7 tons of various drugs from smugglers in two armed clashes in the country's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The police forces also arrested four drug smugglers and dismantled two drug-trafficking bands in the operations, the province's police commander, Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi said, Tasnim news agency reported June 24.
Rahimi said the police forces identified an armed drug-trafficking band that was active in Saravan, Iranshahr, and Sib and Suran cities.
In an armed clash with the band, the police forces seized 1,248 kilograms of opium, 53 kilograms of heroin, and two AK-47 rifles, and arrested three smugglers.
In another operation, the police forces of Khash and Mehrestan cities seized 472 kilograms of opium and arrested a smuggler, Rahimi said.
Iran is situated on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometers of common border with Afghanistan, over which 74 percent of opium is smuggled.
The fight against drug trafficking annually costs Iran about $1 billion, according to the official estimates.
According to the statistics, there are about two million drug users in Iran.