United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov has said Iran ranks first in the world in illicit drug seizures.
Iran seizes 80 percent of the opium and 40 percent of the heroin and morphine seized in the world, Fedotov told Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar during a meeting in Tehran on Monday.
"Iran is our important partner in the war on drugs," he said, adding, it is a "good and reliable" partner for the international community as well.
"We will make efforts to increase international support for Iran," he added.
Fedotov noted that he and Najjar have the same stance on the campaign against illicit drugs.
He also expressed his condolences over the death of about 3,700 Iranian police and other security forces during clashes with drug smugglers, saying the international community appreciates Iran's efforts in this regard.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said UNODC is currently cooperating with Iran in the campaign against drug smuggling and programs to reduce drug consumption and treat drug addicts.
He went on to say that UNODC plans to announce its new programs to help regional nations increase their cooperation in the campaign against illicit drugs by the year's end.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Najjar said the United Nations and the international community should support Iran in its campaign against illicit drugs both in spirit and through financial assistance.
The international community should provide Iran with the equipment necessary to protect its borders against drug smuggling, he stated.
However, he noted that "the international community has always confirmed the Islamic Republic of Iran's effective measures in the war on drugs."
He went on to say that Iran has paid a heavy price in the campaign against illicit drugs and many Iranian policemen and other security forces have lost their lives in skirmishes with drug smugglers.
Najjar also said Iran has great experience in this campaign and is ready to share its expertise with regional countries.
He noted that drug cultivation in Afghanistan has increased over the past four months, saying, "We want Afghanistan to take more effective measures in this regard."
The Iranian interior minister also said that Fedotov plans to visit Iran's eastern borders in order to become more acquainted with Iran's activities in the campaign against illicit drugs.
War on drugs should not be politicized
In a separate meeting with Fedotov on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the war on drugs is a complicated and important issue and should not be politicized.
Salehi added that the detrimental effects of illicit drugs on human beings should be taken into consideration in such campaigns.
Fedotov called Iran an "important and strategic partner" of UNODC and said regional countries should hold regular talks on the campaign against illicit drugs.
... Payvand News - 07/19/11 ... --