Iran President Warns West of 'Deluge of Drugs'

Sunday, 9 December, 2018 - 13:00
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani warned Westerners that boycotting Iran undermines their ability to fight drugs and terrorism in their origins, adding that they will not be able to survive the deluge of drugs, refugees, attacks and assassination.

In a televised speech, Rouhani cautioned that if Iran is weakened through sanctions, many people will not be safe, asserting that those “who do not believe what we say, better look at the map.”

Drug trafficking poses a major challenge to Iran, which shares borders with Afghanistan, world's largest opium producer, and Pakistan, a key transit route for drugs.

He reported that Iran spends $800 billion annually in fighting drugs, which guarantees better health for peoples from Eastern Europe to Western America and from Northern Africa to Western Asia.

“Think for a moment that if a hole shows up in this barrier, what a disaster will happen.”

A UN report published in 2014 showed that Iran accounted for two thirds of the world’s opium seizures and one fourth of the world’s heroin and morphine seizures in 2012.

The President noted that his country has been determined to fight terrorism and devoted hundreds of its valuable forces to continue this tireless fight against violence and extremism, and it spends millions of dollars each year.

“Without this devotion and expenses, this region would witness the rise and empowerment of the savage caliphate of ISIS in a very wide domain,” he asserted, however, “we do not expect westerners to pay their share for the security and stability that we have provided to them.”

Rouhani stated that economic terrorism means promoting terror about the economy of a country and intimidating other countries to prevent them from doing trade and investing in the target country.

The withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), re-imposition of sanctions and the measures against Iran and its trade partners are clear examples of economic terrorism, added the President.

Rouhani was speaking during his meeting with Speakers of China, Russia, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan on the sidelines of a counter-terrorism inter-parliamentary summit in Tehran.

More than 700,000 undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran this year as the Iranian economy tightens, according to data from the UN’s migration agency.

On the sidelines of the summit, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Saturday that US have turned the region into a “powder keg,” knowing that the amount of weaponry, which is sold on the part of the US, is unbelievable and quite a lot in excess of what the region needs.

“This indicates the very dangerous policy that the Americans pursue in our region,” he added.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said Israel, the United States and unnamed 'regional powers' provide support for terrorist groups that carry out deadly attacks in Iran.

"In their perspective, the kind of terrorism that is in line with their purposes is not considered to be terrorism worthy of condemnation," Alavi added.

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