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Iran Fighting for More Accurate UN Report on Drug Use Statistics

As the United States continues to be the largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world, the benefits for drug cartels and traffickers go far beyond the risks associated with their crimes. The problem for those citizens who are not involved in the industry or the use of its products is the cost.

The same is true for other parts of the world. While the demand may not be comparable to that of the U.S., the costs certainly try. The Tehran Times recently posted a piece that showed that drug trafficking causes roughly $8.5 billion in damage on the economy of Iran every year.

Taka Taheri, lieutenant commander of Iran’s Anti-Drug Police Squad, noted that contrary to popular belief, drug addictions do not remain only in certain social classes, even if the poor addicts are the ones most often kept in the public eye.

Taheri was quick to reject a report out of the UN claiming Iran ranks first in the consumption of drugs, pointing to a number of flaws in the report. One obvious flaw was country statistics that put addicts at 1.2 million, while the UN report only lists 900,000.

On a recent meeting with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonia Maria Costa, Taheri complained about the inaccuracy of the report. As a result, the UNODC will send experts to Iran to study the situation more closely.

It is important for Taheri and Iran to fight for accuracy in this report. Iran is the current chairman of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs and it is important that the statistics cannot be used for political purposes. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is the central drug policy-making body within the United Nations system.

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