Over the past 30 years, the poisonous effects of Afghanistan’s narcotics
industry have steadily transformed Iran’s law enforcement and border
security institutions, forcing drastic changes in the way Iran deals
with what has become a burgeoning transnational narco-insurgency on its
southeastern frontier with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
police chief, Brig. Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moqaddam, announced last October
that Iranian authorities are now using remote security surveillance and
control systems from Tehran to help monitor and interdict the massive
flow of narcotics streaming over the border from Afghanistan. But
despite the country’s draconian anti-narcotics laws and aggressive
interdiction efforts, Iran remains the primary transit route for Afghan
drug smugglers. Approximately 50 percent of Afghanistan’s opium output
passes through Iran en route to destinations such as Turkey, where
morphine base and brown heroin are refined further for intravenous
drug-users in Europe.
Last year, Iranian counternarcotics
efforts led to 85 percent of the world’s total opium seizures, with
authorities confiscating an astonishing 1,000 tons of opium entering
through the porous 560-mile border with Afghanistan. Despite such
measures, Iran’s war on drugs is far from successful.
seizures represent just a fraction of what narcotics smugglers succeed >>>