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Filed under: Latest News — admin     6:34 pm July 20, 2011

Tehran will vigorously pursue the “Triangular Initiative” brokered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on drug control cooperation between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Soltanieh told reporters on Tuesday.

“Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan are implementing the Triangular Initiative on the fight against narcotics. The plan is to expand and include African and Central Asian countries as well,” he added, IRNA reported.

The Islamic Republic is a pioneer of the project and is ready to transfer its expertise to other countries to prevent the Iranian nation from suffering any damage and to adopt serious measures to tackle narcotics across the world, he went on to say.

Soltanieh, who is also Iran’s Ambassador to other Vienna-based international organizations, further explained that the Container Control Program (CCP) will be implemented in the Middle East in the near future.

In 2003, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the UNODC initiated the CCP for the purpose of enhancing port surveillance in developing countries to minimize the risk of maritime containers being exploited and used for illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and other forms of fraudulent activity.

The Iranian envoy pointed out that in case of the implementation of the program in Iran, the UN will provide the Islamic Republic with technical and educational aid and advanced equipment to help the country control border regions.

Soltanieh’s remarks came after a delegation, comprising of Iran’s anti-narcotics police chief Hamid Reza Hossein Abadi, the UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and Iran’s Soltanieh, visited Iran’s eastern border region with Afghanistan.

The UNODC chief, who arrived Monday in Tehran for a three-day visit, lauded Iran’s efforts to curb drug trafficking and urged other countries to follow its example.

“Iran has put in place one of the world’s strongest counter-narcotics responses,” Fedotov said in a Monday statement.

“Iran’s counter narcotics efforts, good practices and concerns deserve the acknowledgment of the international community,” which should “follow suit,” he added.

Poppy cultivation and drug trade in Afghanistan has come at a heavy cost to neighboring Iran. With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) common border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.

Iran has spent more than $700 million to seal its borders and prevent the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries while thousands of Iranian police officers are stationed at borders to repel traffickers.

The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.

According to UNODC’s World Drug Report 2011, Iran has the world’s highest rate of seizures of opium and heroin, 89 percent and 41 percent respectively.

Source : Press TV

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