An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province April 17, 2014.

Iran Rejects UN Claims That Afghanistan Poppy Cultivation In Decline

Tuesday, 11/28/2023

Iran has rejected the recent United Nations report that claims a 95% reduction in opium production in Afghanistan.

The UN report published on November 5 suggests that the Taliban's ban on drugs in Afghanistan led to a significant drop in opium poppy cultivation while data from the body last year suggested Afghan farmers' income tripled. 

Amir Abbas Lotfi, the Director General of the International Relations Office of the Drug Control Headquarters in Iran, contradicted the UN findings, stating that not only did Afghanistan decrease opium production, but it also expanded the production of psychotropic substances despite the ban imposed by the Taliban.

Lotfi pointed to another UN report from last year, highlighting that the income of Afghan farmers had tripled suddenly, reaching over $4 billion.

"Traditional drug trafficking, such as opium and psychotropic substances, from Afghanistan to Iran is still occurring," he said.

Iran, often recognized as a significant global conduit for drug trafficking to European markets, is allegedly implicated in these activities, with accusations of involvement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Reports from Western and regional intelligence agencies suggest that the Islamic Republic, along with its paramilitary partners, plays a notable role in drug trafficking networks operating in the Middle East and the West.

Investigations indicate a notable increase in the transfer of large narcotics shipments from Iran to Arab countries, Southeast Asia, and Europe. However, Iranian authorities place the blame on Western governments.

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