Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Gazenfer Hamidov – Trend:
The Islamic Republic security forces seized over 713 tons of drugs the last fiscal year (ended March 20), Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police Chief Brigadier General Mohammad Masoud Zahedian said.
Zahedian said that the figure indicates a 14 percent increase compared to the preceding year, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.
The official further said that the Iranian security forces have discovered and seized 14 tons of drugs in the first week of the current fiscal year, started March 20, which is 36 percent more year-on-year.
Zahedian added that over 78 percent of the seized drugs were discovered in the country’s eastern provinces.
Iran sits 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 close to three million drug users in Iran.