Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian police killed one drug smuggler during an armed conflict in the country's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The incident took place on May 4 morning near the city of Mehrestan, the province's police commander, Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.
Police seized about one metric ton of opium from the smugglers, the commander noted.
Rahimi further said that one of the smugglers was arrested during the police operation.
The police commander added that illegal weapon and ammunition were also discovered and seized from the smugglers.
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 consumed in Iran, which is equal to 42 percent of total opium consumption in the world.
Edited by CN
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