Drug Seizures Surge on Iran's Borders
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Iran’s Border Guard Units announced yesterday that they seized over 50 tons of various narcotics across their borders during the final nine months of 2011 (March 21-December 21). The figure is an 18% increase on the same period last year. “Iran’s controlling measures and investment in borders have led to the seizure of 85 percent of the drugs at the borders’ zero point before entering the country,” says Ali Moayyedi, Iran’s Law Enforcement Police General. Iran borders with seven other countries, as well as the Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea and Sea of Oman. But officials say that 95% of the drugs entering the country come from Afghanistan. Since the 2001 US-led invasion of the country, Afghanistan has become the world’s biggest opium and drug producer, with major routes leading into Europe. According to the UN, opium production in Afghanistan has surged from 185 tons per year under the Taliban to 3,400 tons, peaking at 8,200 tons in 2007. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, 3,700 Iranian police have been killed in the fight against narcotics.