Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Iranian Border Security and Counternarcotics battle – Veterans Today

Must Read

State Farm Backpedals on LGBT Book Distribution to Kids

State Farm has backpedaled on a plan to distribute LGBT-themed books to children through community centers, libraries, and school...

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy calls for help pressuring Russia on prisoner swap

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on his nation's allies to...

Musk Completes Divorce from Democrats, Sends Brutal Tweet Directly at Hillary Clinton, Accusing Her of Campaign Hoax

If and when Elon Musk completes his takeover of Twitter, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be surprised if some of her...

Press TV: Clashes between security forces and drug traffickers along Iran’s Eastern border with Afghanistan and Pakistan have become daily occurrences. Iran is now demanding international cooperation in fighting what is actually a global problem.

Iran has paid a heavy toll; financially as well as in terms of human resources and youth lost in tackling the problem. And its resources are running thin.

Iran’s neighbors are many and its borders varied. So handling incoming smuggled drugs and people single-handedly isn’t easy.

 Border security, the drug and smuggling problem

The economically-challenged Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran’s south-east, is perhaps the greatest go-to zone for smugglers and no-go zone for everybody else.

It has been the scene of occasional clashes between government forces and drug-traffickers, as well as various militant groups. It is where Jaish al-Adl, a separatist group affiliated with al-Qaida, operates.

Gunmen wanted by Iranian law enforcement have frequently used Pakistan as a safe-haven to organize and train, easily slipping across the border with practiced ease.

Dr Yazdanpanah is professor of Geopolitics Tehran University.

Establishing border security usually requires joint efforts between two nations. One of the challenges Iran is facing is that it has too many neighbors. We have 15 neighbors, making us the worlds third among countries with the most neighbors. This makes things more difficult for us.

Bilateral ties determine the security of the borders. Iran shares 9-thousand kilometers of border, 8863 kilometers of which is a common border with its neighbors. Those stretch along rivers, across mountainous areas, vast deserts, and sea crossings.

Iran has these complex border areas. The reason you’re looking for should be investigated by examining the structure of the shared borders.

Kiumars Yazdanpanah, Analyst, National Security Affairs

The geographical location of the country, particularly its porous 1,923 km-long Eastern border with Afghanistan – the world’s largest illicit opium producer – and Pakistan, has turned it into a major transit country for illicit drugs.

In response to this challenge, the country has built one of the strongest counter-narcotics enforcement capabilities in the region over the years.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is perhaps one of the few countries in the world that have been paying human and financial costs fighting smuggling, especially drug trafficking. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have the capacity nor the facilities to stop the transit that’s also affecting other nations.

European countries have made promises to provide Iran with equipment and facilities and pay for some of the costs, but this hasn’t happened yet. If this trend continues, although we’ll be affected somehow, other countries will suffer the consequences.

If you don’t stop it at the origin, you’ll find yourself in major trouble.

Sara Fallahi, Member of Parliament

The UNODC World Drug Report of 2021 estimates that in 2019, 19% of the world optimum, 72% of the world’s morphine, and 20% of the world’s heroin were seized by Iran.

Iran spends millions of dollars annually on border control, which includes constructing barriers along its borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We’ve stated the equipment we need in a letter to the United Nations and to the Executive Director of UNODC, Ms. Qada Fathi Wali, who also heads the UN’s Vienna office.

There’s a wide range of equipment we need, but the most important are border management and control systems. Today, countries can no longer protect their borders by building walls and putting up fences.

For example, in some geographical areas, there are sandy deserts that are constantly moving. This means that building walls isn’t a viable option.

Amir Abbas Lotfi, Spokesman, Anti-narcotics Headquarters

On January 1, 2022 Iran lost 3 border patrol guards as they clashed with an armed criminal gang in the southeast.

Last July, in another incident, armed bandits shot and killed four Guard members in the same province, Sistan-Baluchestan.

If they don’t help us today, they will be facing a deluge of migrants, drugs, and terrorists tomorrow.

The Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t acting as their representative, but it’s been located at the forefront of the fight, and in a way is acting as a barrier preventing those from reaching other nations.

If they don’t help us with that, they’ll have to deal with troubles in their capitals later on.

Amir Abbas Lotfi, Spokesman, Anti-narcotics Headquarters

Armed outlaws and smugglers ramped up their activities along the borders of the central and eastern provinces of Iran beginning in 2021.

They are equipped with all kinds of smart weapons and heavy equipment, leaving Iranian border police to fight an unequal battle, given it’s the equipment as well as the cost of preventive measures, while Tehran is under US sanctions.

If major western powers hadn’t been behind the drug mafia in Afghanistan, the situation there wouldn’t have been like this. That holds true about weapons trafficking and many other destabilizing issues that are caused by external forces in the region.

They’ve brought instability wherever they have gone. But because of their media imperialism and power, they’re portrayed as the good guys.

Some 40 Iranian police officers lost their lives in clashes with armed traffickers and outlaws between March 21 and December 3, 2021.

Has Iran been left to its own devices or do Western powers simply not care about fighting the drug cartels that actually fund their wars?

The US spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan. It doesn’t come as a surprise if Washington wanted part of its money back. What could be better for them than using Afghanistan’s natural climate for cultivating poppy and officially recognizing it as having medicinal uses to export it to the US and other nations?

The Americans were behind the 13-fold jump in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, but they don’t believe that to have affected the illegal drugs markets around the world. They would argue that Afghanistan’s farms are perfect for poppy and cultivating any other plant won’t be financially reasonable.

Therefore, to keep the Afghan economy going and keep people employed so they won’t join the Taliban and conduct operations against them and at the same time earn back a bit of funds they spent on Afghanistan, they chose to cultivate and sell poppy.

Kiumars Yazdanpanah, Analyst, National Security Affairs

Western parties to the Iran Nuclear Deal or JCPOA delayed talks to press Iran into further commitments such as scrapping its ballistic missile programme and pulling out of involvement in its own region.

Couldn’t Iran be given a little assistance with a problem that is European as much as Iranian, given Iran is on a direct natural smuggling route from Afghanistan to Europe? A passage Iran has controlled at the source, to safeguard Europe from an influx of drugs and immigrants.

Fighting drug trafficking by the Islamic Republic is totally different from that in Europe. Iran is the first frontier. Drug trafficking is interrelated with other issues, including terrorism, border clashes, and the like, and constitutes threats to Iran’s national security.

I have this question for the European and western nations: how do you treat those who threaten your national security? Do you treat them peacefully out of humanitarian considerations? I don’t think so.

Amir Abbas Lotfi, Spokesman, Anti-narcotics Headquarters

The use of maritime routes for the trafficking of drugs and illicit chemicals from/to the region has become big business since 2012. That alone, poses a major challenge to Border Control.

The other thing relates to maritime border security issues. Maritime borders are partly determined by international conventions, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is approved by all countries that have coasts, including those connected to international waters.

There you can clearly see how major powers are contributing to this. The reason is also clear: the smuggling is done partly by major powers, those that manufacture products in bulk but can’t sell them in lucrative markets like that of the Middle East. That makes smuggling quite attractive for them.

Kiumars Yazdanpanah, Analyst, National Security Affairs

While Afghanistan is the world’s number one narcotics producer, its neighbor Iran is the number one drug-buster, with a big addiction rate of its own.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hails Iran’s leading role at the global level in drug-control campaigns, and gave it first place in the world, in the discovery of opium, heroin, and morphine.

According to UN figures released in 2000, Afghanistan produced about 200 tons of narcotics, but by 2018, it had grown to 9,500 tons.

In other words, the production of narcotics had increased fifty fold, which doubled the need for prevention efforts.

In the Afghan province of Nimroz smugglers carry goods from potatoes to fertilizer and fuel from Iran into Afghanistan. And from Afghanistan, the world’s largest heroin and opium exporter, others bring drugs and humans into Iran.

As with Iran, US sanctions on Afghanistan have hampered trade with Europe and states south of the Persian Gulf. However, Iranian business has filled the vacuum, resulting in well over 50 percent of Afghan supermarket shelves stacked with Iranian products.

Looking at the martyrdom of more than 3,800 individuals and the injury of more than 12 thousand members of Iranian law enforcement personnel in the field of counter narcotic plans, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s Deputy Judiciary Chief for International Affairs was moved to pen a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

Here’s what Gharibabadi wrote to Bachelet: “I expect you Madam Commissioner to counter the instrumental, politicized and selective approach in the field of human rights. Apart from condemning illegal and unilateral sanctions against the Iranian people,…

Source link