General Qassem Rezaei, Commander of Iran’s Border Police Brigadier, said that in the past 11 months, the border guards have seized 68 tons of different kinds of illicit drugs, preventing their smuggling.
Brigadier General Rezaei said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency that 60 percent of Iran’s borders with its 15 neighbors have been sealed with physical barriers. The general also pointed out that over the first 11 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2017 – February 19, 2018), the border guards stopped around 68 tons of narcotics from being smuggled into the country.
He further noted that most of the drugs have been captured in clashes with drug smugglers in places where there had been no physical barriers.
According to the Tasnim News Agency, Afghan drugs are mainly smuggled through the 900-kilometer border with Iran, with smugglers using the Islamic Republic as the main conduit for bringing narcotics to drugs kingpins in Europe. As a result, Iran has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades despite high economic and human costs.
The country has so far spent over $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries. Over the past forty years alone, the war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has cost nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers their lives.