Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's police seized 354 kilograms of opium during an armed conflict with smugglers in the country's south eastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The incident took place near the city of Saravan, the province's police commander, Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi said, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Nov. 16.
Rahimi added that one of the smugglers was arrested during the police operation.
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.
About 237 metric tons of various drugs including 190 metric tons of opium, 35 metric tons of hashish, 5.4 metric tons of heroin, 5.3 metric tons of morphine and one metric tons of methamphetamine were seized in Iran during the first half of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22).
It was reported that some 500 metric tons of drugs were seized in the country during the 12-month period from March 21, 2013 to March 21, 2014.
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.