Iran Blames US and NATO for Afghan Drug Problem

By McCarton Ackerman 04/16/12

US interference has precipitated a 40-fold increase in Afghan drug production since 2001, claims Iran's Deputy Judiciary Chief.

Iran's Ebrahim Rayeesi rounded on
the US and NATO.
Photo via

Iran has predictably blamed the US and NATO for Afghanistan's drug trafficking problems, which have seen an alleged 40-fold increase in drug production since the US took over the country in 2001. Iran's Deputy Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Rayeesi said that outside interference in resolving a regional problem is unnecessary, and that only Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan should work together to settle the issue. "The main reason for the considerable increase in narcotics is the presence of foreign forces, specially the US and the NATO and today drug production and trade are done under the control and supervision of the Americans," said Rayeesi. His comments were reported by the Iran-based Fars News Agency, described by CNN and Reuters as a "semi-official news agency with ties to the government," and claimed by the Wall Street Journal to be affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Afghanistan is world's biggest opium producer. Over the past five years, its neighbor Iran, a favored transit route for heroin heading to Europe, has contributed more than $50 million per year to Afghan anti-narcotics efforts.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.