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Iran's 30-Year War on Drugs

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010

Over the past 30 years, the poisonous effects of Afghanistan's narcotics industry have steadily transformed Iran's law enforcement and border security institutions, forcing drastic changes in the way Iran deals with what has become a burgeoning transnational narco-insurgency on its southeastern frontier with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iran's police chief, Brig. Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moqaddam, announced last October that Iranian authorities are now using remote security surveillance and control systems from Tehran to help monitor and interdict the massive flow of narcotics streaming over the border from Afghanistan. But despite the country's draconian anti-narcotics laws and aggressive interdiction efforts, Iran remains the primary transit route for Afghan drug smugglers. Approximately 50 percent of Afghanistan's opium output passes through Iran en route to destinations such as Turkey, where morphine base and brown heroin are refined further for intravenous drug-users in Europe. ...

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