TEHRAN (Iran News) – Secretary-General of Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni said on Monday that NATO planes are smuggling narcotics produced in Afghanistan.
“According to reliable information, NATO planes are transporting and smuggling illicit drugs in the neighboring country, Afghanistan, so not only are we facing the drugs phenomenon and its production, but we are also facing a world war which the Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of this war,” Momeni said, according to IRNA.
He said that the “occupying forces” are openly supporting the production and cultivation of narcotics in Afghanistan.
The Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan also said in July that the US intelligence has been involved in “drug trafficking” in Afghanistan.
“Those wonderful US intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to – to Germany, to Romania – without any inspections,” Zamir Kabulov said, according to TASS.
Kabulov underlined that US involvement in drug trafficking to Europe through uncharted planes is an open secret in Afghanistan, saying, “Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that, everyone is ready to talk about that.”
The Iranian official also noted on Monday that the total production of narcotics in Afghanistan in 2,000 was about 200 tons, which reached more than 9,000 tons in 2017, he said, IRNA wrote.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe and is at the frontline of the global campaign against the drug trafficking.
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trafficking over the past decades.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.
Momeni said in July Iran seized some 1,000 tons of narcotics in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), putting the country in the first place in the world.
On Monday, he said that about 500 tons of drugs have been discovered since the beginning of the Iranian year, which shows a 30 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The United Nations says more than 80 percent of the world’s opium is produced in Afghanistan and the bulk of narcotics produced in the country is destined for European states.
Afghan opium production has skyrocketed over the course of the 19-year US war in the country. In 2018, Afghan farmers grew poppies – the plant from which opium is extracted to make heroin – on four times as much land as they did in 2002.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 shortly after the September 11 attacks. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group.
American forces have since remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now, Donald Trump.
- source : Iran Daily