Drug Supply Reduction: An overview of drug supply and trafficking in Iran Production and Cultivation No legal or illegal cultivation of narcotic plants is reported to take place in the Iranian territory in large scales. However, there are various reports published in late 2005 and 2006 on Law Enforcement engagement in locating small opium poppy fields in remote areas of the country. The Iranian press has also reported many instances of eradication of few hectares of opium poppy by police forces in remote areas in 2006.
Manufacture No manufacture of illicit drugs has been reported in Iran in 2006. Nevertheless, the possibility of the existence of small heroin processing laboratories on the main trafficking routes from Afghanistan-Pakistan toward the western border of Iran ought not to be ruled out. Recently and to the dramatic increase in the abuse of synthetic drugs, the existence of illegal synthetic drug manufacturing laboratories been observed.
An Overview of Drug-Related Issues in Iran Years 1989 - 2004 ITEM SUBJECT DURATION (in Iranian years) AVERAGE UNIT 1 Average annual drug production in Afghanistan 1989-2003 2,329 Ton 2 Number of armed clashes with drug gangs 1989-2003 12,238 Cases 3 Number of gangs dismantled 1989-2003 13,232 Gangs 4 Number of ... more. less.
members of drug gangs killed in clashes 1989-2003 4,983 Individuals 5 Number of Law Enforcement members killed encountering drug gangs 1989-2003 3,700 Individuals 1 6 Number of Law Enforcement members disabled encountering drug gangs 1989-2003 11,000 Individuals 7 Number of arms seized in clashes with drug mafias 1989-2003 14,661 Units 8 Number of confiscated vehicles in clashes with drug gangs 1989-2003 36,927 Vehicles 9 Number of confiscated motorcycles in clashes with drug gangs 1989-2003 12,507 Motorcycles 10 Number of drug- related cases filed in courts 1989-2003 1,962,049 Files 11 Number of addicts sent to prison 1979-2003 911,646 Individuals 12 Number of drug dealers sent to prison 1979-2003 1,644,497 Individuals 13 Number of drug- related deaths 1994-2003 15365 Individuals 14 Increase in the price of opium 1989-2004 494% Per kg Growth rate 15 Increase in the price of heroin 1989-2004 354% Per kg Growth rate 16 Increase in the price of hashish 1989-2004 210% Per kg Growth rate 17 Increase in the price of morphine 1989-2004 353% Per kg Growth rate 18 Number of arrested drug gang members 1989-2003 967386 Individuals 19 Number of arrested drug addicts 1989-2003 1714601 Individuals 20 Number of drug- related cases of HIV + and AIDS 2004 6,730 IDU HIV/AIDS against total of 11,220 cases Individuals 21 Amount of seized heroin 1979-2004 63769 Kg 22 Amount of seized opium 1979-2004 1950461 Kg 23 Amount of seized morphine 1979-2004 214887 Kg 24 Amount of seized hashish 1979-2004 455655 Kg 25 Amount of other drugs seized 1997-2004 13805 Kg 26 Percentage of population worried about the drug problem 2002 90% Percentage of the total population 27 Number of drug 2004 4000000 Individuals 2 abusers as announced by DCHQ 9s Secretary General 28 Number of public drug-related centers 2003 172 Centers 29 Number of private drug-related centers 1382 267 Centers 30 Number of addicts turned in to public centers for rehabilitation 1996-2003 204170 Individuals 31 Various types of Scientific Sources published 2002-2003 100 Subjects 32 Individuals trained in workshops and training programmes 2002-2003 43650 Individuals 33 Capacity-building of NGOs 2002-2003 300 NGOs Source: Components of Iran National Comprehensive Plan 2005 Different Types of Drugs Seized Years 1997-2004 (Figures in Kg) Types of Narcotics Year Heroin MorphineOpiumHashishOther Drugs Total 1997 1986 18949 16241411096 255 194676 1998 2894 22291 15445414376 248 194263 1999 6030 22764 20448518907 1088 253274 2000 6189 20764 17905331581 1459 238593 2001 4001 8668 81061 46084 1314 139814 2002 3978 9520 72850 64166 1584 152098 2003 3327 13063 97575 76991 1664 189841 2004 4715 12878 17409186500 6174 284358 2005 5553 6937 22509567277 6319 311181 Source: National Drug Control Reports of DCHQ, 1999 3 2004 Drug Seizure Methods in the Islamic Republic of Iran - 2005 ROW METHOD % 3 1 Vehicle Inspection at checkpoints 33 2 Armed clashes 26 3 Infiltration and drug seizure from camel narco-caravan 9 4 Ambush and Patrolling 8.5 5 Surveillance 6 6 House search 5 7 Undercover operations (U/C) 4 8 Unclaimed drugs at depots 4 9 Body and luggage Inspection 2 10 Others 2.5 11 TOTAL 100 Source: National Drug Control Report, 2005 Trafficking Iran is still one of the main conduits for illegal drugs trafficking; namely opium, hashish, heroin and morphine base, which originate from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and are destined mainly for markets in Europe and the Persian Gulf and Middle East region. Comparison of Heroin Seized in the World and in Iran in Kilogram, 1987 3 2003 Location Year In the world In Iran Percentage 1987 17000 1446 8.5 1988 21900 1760 8.0 1989 24100 1478 6.13 1990 23400 1800 7.70 1991 22700 1750 7.71 1992 25000 4113 16.45 1993 26700 1990 7.45 1994 28200 908 3.22 1995 31260 2075 6.64 1996 28500 805 2.83 1997 33340 1986 5.96 1998 32600 2894 8.88 1999 36200 6030 16.65 2000 53700 6189 11.53 2001 54000 4001 7.41 2002 48500 3978 8.20 2003 53200 3327 6.25 4 TOTAL 560300 46530 8.3 Sources: UNODC Global Illicit Drug Trends, 1999, 2000, 2003 and UNODC World Drug Report 1997, 2004, 2005 and National Drug Control Reports of DCHQ, 1999 - 2004 Comparison of Opium Seized in the World and in Iran in Kilogram, 1987 3 2003 Location Year In the world In Iran Percentage 1987 56900 36770 64.6 1988 61600 39360 64.4 1989 41900 26208 57.4 1990 36600 20800 62.5 1991 41500 23483 56.8 1992 52800 38254 72.4 1993 85300 63941 75 1994 144500 117095 81 1995 245700 126554 51.5 1996 174200 149577 86.6 1997 195450 162414 83.10 1998 179200 154454 86.20 1999 239400 204485 85.42 2000 213200 179053 83.98 2001 105750 81061 76.65 2002 97100 72850 75.03 2003 133700 97575 72.98 TOTAL 2104800 1593934 75.7 Sources: UNODC Global Illicit Drug Trends, 1999, 2000, 2003 and UNODC World Drug Report 1997, 2004, 2005 and National Drug Control Reports of DCHQ, 1999 3 2004 5 Trafficking Entry Routes There are three main trafficking routes used by drug traffickers in Iran, namely: Northern, Southern and Hormuzgan major routes. The Northern and Southern routes are somehow inevitable routes for the traffickers because the geographical characteristics of eastern Iran leave little choice considering the existence of huge 8 9Loot 9 9 and 8 9Salt 9 9 deserts which can not be passed except through a few locations and in certain hours.<br><br> Although entry points (90 entry points have been identified by the authorities) may be changed, general directions remain the same. Before discussing about these three routes and their branches, a number of issues should be discussed at this point so to facilitate a better understanding of drug trafficking and drug distribution in Iran. The first issue that should be noted is that there are two types of trafficking: One which is responsible for the major bulk of drugs which enter Iran both for domestic consumption and or for export to third countries.<br><br> This is done by drug lords; Two, small amounts of drugs brought into the country by individuals, either Afghans or Baluchies, etc. Some of the later group is referred to as cBarducks d , a term which literally means con the shoulders. d This stems from the fact that almost all Iranians carry various items like medicines or legal drugs, kerosene, etc. on their shoulders when traveling across the border to Afghanistan and Pakistan.<br><br> On their return, they again carry their load on their shoulders; this time, items like used clothing, garments, second-hand radios, recorders, TVs and other electronics. During the rule of the Taliban, short-wave radios, tape recorders, TV sets and other similar items were prohibited in Afghanistan; so, they were very cheap. But some 8 9 Barducks 9 9 would also bring back from Pakistan or Afghanistan small amounts of heroin or opium, each load seldom exceeding 5 kilos; most of the time, it 9s just 1 kilo or even less.<br><br> Meanwhile, the Afghans who more or less freely go through the border to Afghanistan and back to Iran on foot also bring back to Iran small amounts of heroin, hashish and opium. The drug lords who control the major bulk of the market have their own territory over which they rule; and, seemingly, over the years, some type of division of labor and flexible territorial divisions have evolved. These drug lords also have their own armies of loyal followers and have built up strong connections over the years; connections established through regular bribes.<br><br> Hence, a portion of drugs which have been seized comes from individuals acting on their own and when territorial divisions are violated, which often happens. For years the southern route has been regarded as the main drug trafficking route and it still remains more important in terms of the total amount of drugs 6 smuggled into the country. However, there has been significant increase in the frequency of drug trafficking by individuals.<br><br> The Northern route 3 Khorasan Province With an area of more than 315,000 sq km, Khorasan Province borders Turkmenistan to the north and northeast, Afghanistan to the east, the provinces of Mazandaran, Semnan, Esfahan, and Yazd to the west, and the provinces of Kerman and Sistan-Baluchestan to the south. As mentioned, a large number of Afghan refugees have settled in the province, mainly due to its proximity to Afghanistan. It is also one of the major transit points for illegal Afghan migrants.<br><br> The mountainous and desert terrain of the area as well as the low population density makes the control for law enforcement difficult, if not impossible. The trafficking routes originating from Khorasan Province which have been identified are: 1. Afghanistan-Khorasan-Semnan-Tehran 2.<br><br> Afghanistan-Khorasan-Turkmenistan-Golestan/Mazanderan Province-Tehran 7 It should be noted that these routes are the main trafficking ones. There are many other sub-routes and because of the intensity of law enforcement and control, routes are immediately changed and new routes established. Trafficking in Khorasan is carried out by groups of Afghans-Iranians.<br><br> Crossing the border mainly by foot, they operate in large- or small-armed groups. The larger groups often resort to kidnapping and murdering civilians in order to ensure the logistic support of the locals. Smaller groups (2-4 individuals) usually carry up to 10 kg of heroin or opium per person while larger groups carry several hundred-kilo consignments using donkeys and camels.<br><br> The Southern Route: Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman Provinces With the land surface area of 178,431 sq. km and population of 1.7 million, the province of Sistan and Baluchestan borders the Sea of Oman to the south, Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east, Kerman and Hormuzgan Provinces to the west, and the province of Khorasan to the north. It is divided into seven main districts (and seven main towns).<br><br> The district of Zahedan where the provincial capital, Zahedan is located has a population of 420,000. There are 6500 villages in the province. According to the UNDP 1999 Human Development Report, Sistan and Baluchestan is Iran 9s poorest province with the lowest Human Development index (HDI), Gender Development index (GDI) and poverty index in the country.<br><br> From out of the total 1.7 million population, there are 300,000-350,000 refugees/immigrants (Afghans) and 20,000 local nomads. Inhabitants of the province live in a sparse area lacking water and arable land. Population concentrations are very distant from each other (average distance is 65 km).<br><br> There are 4,909 km of roads of which only 1,544 km are asphalted. The landscape is mostly sandy desert with bare hills and scarcely any vegetation. 20% of the population lives below the extreme poverty line.<br><br> Nearly 810,000 out of 1.7 million people are considered literate (or 48%) of which 58% are male and 42% are female. The lengthy border with Pakistan (976 kilometers) and the history of the territory and the ethnic groups that inhabit it have determined the overall development of Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Its ethnic roots can be traced to the nomadic tribes generally identified as Baluchies and Sistanis that were and still are distributed among the Iranian, Pakistani, and Afghan territories.<br><br> Fierce and rebellious to any kind of foreign domination, they have managed to preserve their cultural and economic independence throughout the histories of Iran and Pakistan. Their nomadic traditions and trading skills coupled with their ancestral rejection of geopolitical frontiers have made these ethnics particularly known as csmugglers d of different types of goods within the Baluchestan territories in Iran and Pakistan. 8 According to a recent study carried out in Shirabad, a small town near the Sistan and Baluchestan provincial capital, Zahedan, 40% to 65% of Shirabad residents earns their living either by smuggling goods between Iran and Pakistan or by providing logistical support to local drug trafficking criminal organizations.<br><br> It is worth mentioning that according to the same study none of the local leaders of local drug trafficking organizations live in Shirabad itself. It also means that the largest portion of the revenue generated by illegal activities is neither invested nor spent in this town. According to Iranian Law Enforcement authorities, there are 50 smuggling routes currently in use in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.<br><br> Key locations are identified as Mirjaveh, Zahedan, and Iranshahr. Because of the new tactics adapted by the smugglers, the number of these routes has increased dramatically in the past 5 years. The following are the identified trafficking routes originating from Sistan and Baluchestan Province: 1.<br><br> Sistan and Baluchestan-Kerman-Yazd-Tehran 2. Sistan and Baluchestan-Khorasan 3. Sistan and Baluchestan-Bandar Abbas and/or Hormuzgan (Persian Gulf area) 3 Fars - Khuzestan Trafficking in Sistan and Baluchestan Province is carried out by large well- armed motorized convoys.<br><br> Different local groups, or tribes, may join the traffickers against the law enforcement units operating in the area. Contrary to the situation in Khorasan Province, tribal links do ensure the overall support for the traffickers by the local communities. 9 Hormuzgan Route Hormuzgan Province is situated along the coast of the Persian Gulf in the vicinity of the Sea of Oman.<br><br> The provincial capital, Bandar Abbas, is the most important Iranian port. Ferries link Bandar Abbas to Dubai. TIR trucks and lorries enter the port for loading and unloading commercial goods and cargoes.<br><br> Good roads link Bandar Abbas to the central part of Iran and a railway directly links Bandar Abbas to the Tehran-Istanbul and Tehran-Damascus railways. Being a commercial port, Bandar Abbas is an easy trans-shipment point for both outgoing deliveries of illicit drugs to destinations in Europe and the Persian Gulf region and for incoming chemical precursors destined for illicit refineries in Afghanistan. Identified trafficking routes originating from Hormuzgan: 1.<br><br> Gawater port (Pakistan)-Sistan and Baluchestan-Chabahar port 2. Gawater port (Pakistan)-Bandar Abbas port-Khouzestan Smuggling through the Hormuzgan route takes place either by speed boats and small vessels or by the use of land vehicles through Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Recent reports from the Anti-narcotic Forces of Pakistan confirm concerns of Iranian Law enforcement over the increased use of this route for illicit shipments to the coasts of both Iran and Oman.<br><br> 10 Entry to exit points: Trafficking routes from Iran central parts The trafficking gangs that operate from Iranian border areas to outskirts of Kerman Province 3 city of Bam, in the south and outside boundaries of Khorasan province, do not enter into trafficking of drugs to central Iran and larger cities like Tehran, etc. There seems to be an unwritten pact between the organized trafficking from borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to Kerman and Khorasan provinces and those organized gangs that traffic drugs from central parts to Tehran and other major drug depots deep into Iranian territories. The later groups are actually involved in both domestic distributions in major cities and urban areas as well as acting as bridge of transiting drugs into Iran exit points via third markets.<br><br> Information on central trafficking routes and organized crime groups behind is extremely scarce. Again unofficially some of these groups enjoy strong connections for their trafficking activities. Drug Trafficking Exit Routes from Iran As far as exit routes are concerned, the traditional exit points at the border with Turkey have now been complemented with a number of new routes, which also reflect the increased integration of Iran within the region and the rest of the world.<br><br> Accordingly, these routes can be identified as follows: 1. Western route The oldest and most common trafficking route: Tehran - West Azerbaijan - Urumiyeh -Turkey 11 In recent years the following new routes have complemented the usual and direct route through Urumiyeh: - Tehran - East Azerbaijan - Republic of Azerbaijan-Turkey - Khorasan/Mazandaran- Gilan/Ardebil - Republic of Azerbaijan- Turkey 2. Northern route This new trafficking route is used both for circumventing the Iranian law enforcement checkpoints and for shipping illicit drugs directly to the CIS countries, particularly to the Russian Federation.<br><br> The route is Khorasan Province-Turkmenistan. 3. Southern route Illicit drug consignments, mainly hashish, flow through this route towards the Persian Gulf region, the European and North American markets, as final destinations of small consignments.<br><br> The routes include: - Bandar Abbas 3 Smaller port facilities along Iranian southern shores - United Arab Emirates - Iranian southern shores 3 Kuwait/Iraq 4. Eastern route The eastern route is mainly directed to the Middle East markets. This is Khuzestan and Kermanshah Provinces 3 Iraq.<br><br> However, because of the recent developments in Iraq, new routes through Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces are used both for smuggling drugs and firearms. 12 Other exit routes/trafficking methods A. Swallowing and using human mules has become more common practice in smuggling illicit drugs into Iran.<br><br> This is done in many cases by Afghans leaving Iran and then returning for seasonal works to major cities. B. Seizures of opium and heroin, although very minimal, continues by the Iranian Customs through random checking of outgoing parcels as well as from Iranian travelers destined to Europe and Americas in 2005.<br><br> The main bulk of these seizures are opium that are for personal use of target Iranian community in Europe and the United States. C. International Iranian airports are also been used more frequently for smuggling amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) and small cache of cocaine to Iran.<br><br> The main entry point is Tehran airport and those arrested are mainly travelers from Thailand. 13