Iran Blames Afghan Drug Trafficking on West-Spawned Int'l Mafia
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian blasted the US over the growing amount of narcotics production and trafficking in Afghanistan in recent years, and said that the drug trade is controlled by the Western drug mafia that came about due to the American presence in the war-torn country.
Amir Abdollahian stated on the sidelines of the meeting of Afghanistan's neighbors on Thursday that the quartet meeting with participation of Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China reviewed the concerns about the situation in Afghanistan.
The minister emphasized the importance of joint regional cooperation between the four countries and stated that Afghanistan's neighbors are more concerned about its future than any other actor.
The production and trafficking of drugs in Afghanistan was not solved during the 20 years of US occupation but also the cultivation and trafficking of narcotics in the Asian country multiplied, the senior diplomat stressed.
He added that the Western mafia network is behind the expansion of this "black trade".
Amirabdollahian expressed concern about terrorism and extremism and criticized the United States for its wrong policies that have led to the development of terrorism and insecurity in Afghanistan.
The top official called for more regional cooperation and solutions instead of intervention from the West, especially the US. He also highlighted the responsibility of Washington and its allies for the situation in Afghanistan.
Regarding the economic situation in the neighboring country, Amir Abdollahian underlined the need for managing it and stated that economic pressures have led to an increase in the migration of refugees. He also mentioned that some insecurities have arisen towards neighboring countries due to these migrations.
The Iranian minister called for regional and international cooperation with a focus on the interim ruling body of Afghanistan to address these issues.
He also expressed concern about the educational deprivation of women and girls in Afghanistan and offered Iran's assistance in providing education to Afghan girls and women with the help of the United Nations.
The foreign minister underscored the importance of encouraging the temporary governing body to fulfill its promise to form an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan ethnic groups. In conclusion, he called for an end to tensions in the common borders with Afghanistan's neighbors.
For decades, Iran has been fighting a relentless battle against international drug networks, but the war has cost it the loss of many lives and finances. Iranian security forces confiscate tons of narcotics every year in ambush operations against drugs traffickers.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan - the major supplier of the vast majority of the world’s opium and heroin even during the 20-year occupation of the county by US-led forces - has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.
The head of the Iranian anti-narcotics police has said in late June European countries owe Tehran a lot for blocking the transit of drugs destined for Europe, adding that the country confiscated over 1,200 tons of illicit narcotics last year.
Majid Karimi, however, slammed Europe for depriving Tehran of the latest technology to fight drug trafficking in line with sanctions spearheaded by the US, while they directly benefit from Iran’s anti-drugs measures.
“If the Islamic Republic of Iran stops the fight (against drugs) for only a month, the European countries will have to gather every gram of the huge hauls of drugs from their streets,” he warned.
Iran’s Interior Minister has also criticized the Western governments for their “poor performance” in the fight against narcotrafficking.
Ahmad Vahidi stated in late June the main culprits behind the promotion of drug use are some Western intelligence agencies and Western politicians.
He noted that the production of industrial drugs is a lucrative business for the Western countries.
He demanded that Western banks control the financial operations of narcotrrafickers, saying it’s questionable that financial institutions in the West turn a blind eye to the issue.
Vahidi underlined Iran is now going it alone in the fight against narcotics but instead of being thanked, it’s getting accused by its adversaries under various pretexts.
He underscored that 3,850 Iranian security forces have been killed on the line of duty in the war on drugs and 12,000 others have been injured.