Official: 2,500 Tons of Afghan Drugs Enter Iran Annually

A001821216.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Some 2,500 tons of narcotics enter Iran from neighboring Afghanistan annually, an anti-drugs official said on Sunday.

“Afghanistan produces 8,200 tons of narcotics, 2,500 of which enter Iran,” Mohammad Reza Jahani, deputy head of Iran’s anti-narcotics headquarters, said.

“Of this amount, 700 tons are consumed in the country, 500 tons are seized by the police and the rest, which is about 1,300 tons, is transited through the country,” he said.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has said that Afghanistan’s opium production increased from 6,100 tons in 2006 to 8,200 tons in 2007, accounting for 93 percent of global production.

Iran lies on a major narcotics route from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Turkey and Europe, and Tehran says it needs more funds to combat trafficking across its porous eastern borders.

It has arrested smugglers, dug trenches and built walls across the border and lost hundreds of police and military forces in its battle against traffickers.

With cheap heroin available at 3.5 dollars (2.4 euros) per gram, according to the United Nations, the country faces a serious drug abuse problem with an official two million drug addicts – 250,000 of whom are intravenous heroin users.

Nearly half of the prisoners in the country’s jails have been incarcerated for drug-related crimes.

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