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Iran seeks EU’s cooperation in fighting Afghan opium

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Director General of Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters for International Relations Mahmoud Bayat said that global support is needed to curb poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

In a meeting with the European Union special envoy to Afghanistan Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin in Tehran, the Iranian official stressed on introduction of alternative crop to replace poppy.

“We demand Europe’s practical cooperation with Iran in exchange of information and modern facilities, such as X-ray machines, for easier discovery of narcotics,” the Fars News Agency quoted Bayat.

Acknowledging the fact that the United Nations and the EU have not achieved the goals regarding elimination of poppy in Afghanistan, Mellben also stressed on improved cooperation among the partner countries.

Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, last week said that flow of the narcotics from Afghanistan should be stopped to Iran and other countries. He stressed on putting an end to poppy cultivation in the neighboring country in a meeting with Afghan lawmakers in Tehran.

“Replacing poppy cultivation with a suitable crop, the Afghan people can even benefit from it,” Larijani said in the meeting with the group of Afghan legislators.

He pledged his country’s support to Afghanistan in the fight against narcotics, adding that restoration of security in the neighboring country is important for stability of the other neighboring countries.  According to reports, Tehran has contributed over $50 million annually during the last five years to Afghan anti-drugs efforts.