Iran spends more than $700 million annually fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan, and in 2017 alone, the country seized more than 785 tons of illicit drugs destined for other parts of the Middle East and Europe. But the new sanctions regime will likely force Tehran to do some belt-tightening – cutbacks that may soon be felt in the West.
If Iran is compelled to reduce security along its border with Afghanistan, the Western world will “not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned.
By highlighting its own efforts against drug trafficking and terrorism, the Iranian government is hoping to appeal to Europe in an attempt to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal which the US withdrew from in May, Hamed Mousavi, a political scientist at the University of Tehran, told RT.
“The effort Tehran is putting in fighting drug trafficking is primarily aimed at protecting its own citizens. Drugs affect over two million Iranians. Nevertheless it’s also bringing benefits for other countries, such as the Europeans,” Mousavi said.
According to Mousavi, Rouhani is “trying to tell the Europeans that if the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, dies – and unfortunately it seems that is the path we are going to – they cannot expect Iran’s cooperation on other issues such as fighting drugs and fighting terrorism.”
Like this story? Share it with a friend!