Press TV – January 14, 2010
A senior Iranian anti-drug official has accused the US, Britain and Canada of playing a major role in Afghanistan's lucrative drug trade.
On the sidelines of an anti-drug conference in Tehran, deputy head of Iran's Drug Control Headquarters Taha Taheri said that Western powers are aiding the drug trade in Afghanistan.
"According to our indisputable information, the presence of the United States, Britain and Canada has not reduced the dug trade and the three countries have had major roles in the distribution of drugs," IRIB quoted Taheri as saying on Thursday.
Iranian officials have always criticized Western countries over their policies towards Afghanistan, where poppy cultivation has drastically increased since the US-led military occupation of the country in 2001.
Taheri added that drug catalysts are being smuggled into Afghanistan through borders that are controlled by US, British and Canadian troops.
Some 13,000 tones of drug catalysts are brought into Afghanistan every year as the war-torn country is the producer of 90 percent of the world's opium.
The UN office on drugs and crime said last month that the 2009 potential gross export value of opium from Afghanistan stood at $2.8 billion.
Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has had a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
"More than 340 tones of drugs have been seized all over Iran in the past nine months," IRNA quoted the commander of the drug squad, General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi, as saying earlier this month.
The UN has praised Tehran for its commitment to the fight against drug trafficking.
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Last updated 18/01/2010