Iran and Afghanistan to Partner Against Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking is much easier when neighboring countries disagree on the approach to control. To try and battle the increasing trafficking problem between their borders, Iran and Afghanistan have come to an agreement to increase bilateral cooperation.
A recent news release, credited to the Fars new agency, reported that the agreements were reached during a meeting in Tehran. The meeting included Iran’s prosecutor-general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei and an Afghan judiciary delegation, led by the country’s anti-drug prosecutor.
As the world’s largest producer of opium poppy, Afghanistan is responsible for the equivalent of 3,500 tons of opium that is trafficked out of the country every year. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, this illicit trade is worth 65 billion dollars and caters to 15 million addicts throughout the world.
This trade is also blamed for fueling the Taliban insurgency as militants control production and supply.
Throughout the world, only one fifth of the Afghan opiates are seized before reaching their intended addicts. At present, Iran has the highest seizure rate at 20 percent. The country also has one of the world’s most serious opiate addiction problem with an estimated one million users.
Given the control the Taliban has over this market and their current power in this part of the world, it is still unclear how much of an impact the cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan will make on actual trafficking. Combine this level of power with the amount of money involved in the trade and this will be a steep uphill battle with an uncertain outcome.