Western countries will have to face "a massive influx of drugs" if Iran weakens with US sanctions, warns President Hassan Rouhani - The Independent

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned Western countries that they will face a massive influx of drugs if Iran weakens with US sanctions.

Mr. Rouhani spoke on Saturday in Teheran at a six-nation conference on the fight against terrorism in which politicians from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Russia participated.

In the comments broadcast on state TV, Rouhani said that a weakened Iran would be less able to fight drug trafficking.

"By weakening Iran with sanctions, many will not be safe," he said. "Who does not believe it, it's nice to look at the map".

Iran is on a drug route between Afghanistan and Europe and the Persian Gulf states.

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium with its province of Helmand which is the largest producer of opium.

Opium is the raw material for heroin and Afghan farmers collect about 80% of world stocks, according to UN reports.

The Iranian economy has suffered since the sanctions re-imposed by the United States took off under the Tehran nuclear agreement with the world powers.

Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement and began restoring sanctions, a move that Mr. Rouhani describes as "economic terrorism".

Iran pays a heavy price to fight drug trafficking, with a number of border guards killed each year against drug traffickers.

Ogni anno, il paese brucia circa 100 tonnellate di narcotici sequestrati come simbolo della sua determinazione.

L'Iran ha anche protestato per le accuse di violazione dei diritti umani attraverso l'esecuzione di trafficanti di droga condannati, che costituiscono il 73% delle esecuzioni in Iran.

Solo nel 2013, l'Iran ha speso più di 20 milioni di sterline per scavare canali, erigere muri e terrapieni, creare nuovi avamposti e creare un filo spinato lungo i suoi 2.000 km di confine con Afghanistan e Pakistan, secondo le statistiche del governo.

Until 2016, Iran spent nearly £2bn annually to fight drug trafficking, officials say.

AP

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