Iran seizes 8.8 tons of narcotics destined for Europe

Iran accounted for 91 percent of the world’s opium seizures and 20 percent of heroin and morphine seizures in 2017. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 September 2019

Iran seizes 8.8 tons of narcotics destined for Europe

  • Neighbouring Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s opium
  • Iran is a major transit route for Afghan-produced opiates headed to Europe and beyond

TEHRAN: Iran has seized 8.8 tons of narcotics destined for Europe and uncovered one of the country’s largest trafficking rings, police said Thursday.
“This huge narcotics shipment, which was hidden in a petrol tanker and reached here via Iran’s eastern border, was supposed to be offloaded and then smuggled to European countries,” state television reported from the northwestern city of Urmia, not far from the Turkish border.
Iran’s deputy police chief Ayoub Soleimani said the shipment comprised 3.5 tons of morphine and 5.3 tons of opium.
He said that nine suspected traffickers were arrested with an additional 20 kilogrammes of heroin and 130 firearms in their possession.
Neighbouring Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s opium, which is extracted from poppy resin and refined to make heroin and morphine.
Iran is a major transit route for Afghan-produced opiates headed to Europe and beyond.
It confiscates and destroys hundreds of tons of illicit narcotics every year.
According to the latest UN figures, Iran accounted for 91 percent of the world’s opium seizures and 20 percent of heroin and morphine seizures in 2017, amounting to 630 and 39 tons respectively.
Iran has repeatedly threatened Europe that if it does not do more to mitigate the impact of US sanctions on its economy, it could invest less in combating drug trafficking.
Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers last May and reimposed sanctions on key sectors such as oil and banking.
“Despite the international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran is still the world’s bulwark against drug trafficking,” state television said.


Erdogan says Turkey aware that US support for Kurdish YPG will not end immediately

Updated 40 min 42 sec ago

Erdogan says Turkey aware that US support for Kurdish YPG will not end immediately

  • Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish militants waging an insurgency on Turkish soil
  • Speaking to members of his AK Party, Erdogan said Turkey will continue to battle the YPG until all threats toward Turkey are stopped

ANKARA: Turkey is aware that the US support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia will not end immediately, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, but added that Ankara’s battle against the militia it considers a terrorist group will continue.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish militants waging an insurgency on Turkish soil, and has launched three offensives in northern Syria against the militia.

It has been infuriated by the US support for the militia, repeatedly urging its NATO ally to halt its relations with the group.

Speaking to members of his AK Party, Erdogan said Turkey will continue to battle the YPG until all threats toward Turkey are stopped and every militant is eliminated.

He added that no plan in the region can be realized without Turkey’s consent and support.