OFFICIAL: Production of Drugs in Afghanistan 35-Folded After US Invasion

MARJAH, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Corporal Mark Hickok, a 23-year-old combat engineer from North Olmstead, Ohio, patrols through a field during a clearing mission April 9. Marines with Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, learned basic route clearance techniques from engineers like Hickok, who are deployed with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John M. McCall)
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TEHRAN – Chief of the Iranian Anti-Narcotics Police Brigadier General Masoud Zahedian said that after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the production of narcotics in the country has sorely increased. It has had a 35-fold increase in Afghanistan after the US and its Western allies occupied the poor country and it has reached 6,400 tons from 185 tons, Zahedian told reporters in Rome on Saturday.

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He said, “More than 3,800 Iranians have been killed and 12,500 others have been injured in the fight with drug traffickers.”

In relevant remarks in January, Secretary-General of Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni lashed out at the US and the NATO, two main occupiers of Afghanistan, for encouraging and facilitating poppy cultivation and drug production in the poor country.

Speaking at the annual meeting of counter-narcotics police chiefs of the Law Enforcement Force, Momeni said US forces occupying Afghanistan no doubt facilitates the cultivation of illicit narcotics in that country. The highest rate of drug seizures in the history of Iran and the world belongs to this year [of the local calendar from March 2019 to March 2020], which shows an 18% increase compared to last year, he said.

“We also saw an 80% decrease in the number of casualties among our forces in the fight against illicit drugs,” he said, adding that this year, the forces lost three people in the operations against drug traffickers.

Momeni then censured European countries for their passive role in fighting drug trafficking, adding, “These countries not only do not help the Islamic Republic in this regard, but they also hamper our efforts.”

He went on to add, “The cultivation of narcotics in Afghanistan is increasing every year, and there is no doubt that US forces and occupiers in Afghanistan are contributing to the drug production process and are working to destabilize the region by any means, including supporting drug production in Afghanistan.”

Noting that the majority of the illicit drugs are destined for Europe, Momeni warned that if Iran does not prevent the transit of narcotics across its borders, Europeans have to do it themselves.

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