Iran Minister Hails Accord with Pakistan on Narcotics
Iran and Pakistan took a major step forward in the fight against drug smuggling with Islamabad's decision to root out areas of poppy cultivation, Tehran's deputy interior minister said Sunday.
Mostafa Tajzadeh, back from five days of talks in Islamabad, said the two neighbors had reached "important" agreements on drugs, the extradition of criminals and other issues, the state IRNA news agency reported.
He said Pakistan had committed itself to rooting out areas of opium poppy cultivation this year, adding that Islamabad had also convinced the ruling Taliban militia in Afghanistan to cut back on poppies.
Iran is a major transshipment point for drugs produced in neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan on their way to markets in Europe and the Gulf.
Iran police officials said earlier this month that drug hauls were up some 25 percent over last year, and security forces regularly announce major seizures and arrests.
Tehran newspapers said Sunday that Iranian police wiped out a major drug trafficking group in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province along the Pakistani border after days of clashes that left several people dead -- TEHRAN(AFP)
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