Iran’s official news agencies are once again proudly flaunting (in English) their ‘successful’ anti-drugs activities.
Fars News Agency, for example, led with this headline last week: Iranian Police Intercept Huge Heroin Cargo En Route to Europe.
“Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC visited Tehran this week to participate in a tripartite meeting of Ministers of Interior of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan on fighting drug trafficking in the region.
UNODC is supporting the cooperative activities of the three countries in fighting drug smuggling as well as other preventive measures, as well as drug treatment.”
The Scandinavians are leading the way:
Norway is the single biggest donor to the UNODC programme in Iran and ambassador Kjemprud says that “Norway is happy to fund UNODC in their important support to Iranian authorities in their fight against drugs smuggling an misuse”.
Few news agencies or newspapers have focused on the worryingly dark side of Iran’s drug problem. I have already elucidated concerns emanating from the Human Rights Community about the Iranian regime using their narcotic policy as a psychotic excuse for mass executions.
Credit must also be given to two British news sources which actually covered this topic.
This Sky News update reflects responsible reporting, focusing on the fact that in Iran, “Hundreds are being hanged every year, including children, vulnerable people and innocent scapegoats; that Britain should have played a part in this tragedy is shameful.”
It was Jack Doyle who led the way last week with this informative (and alarming) piece for the UK’s Daily Mail. Doyle opens with his concern that:
“British taxpayers have handed at least £3.6million in aid to Iran, an investigation has found.”
He goes on to explain that:
“Campaign group Reprieve, which carried out the investigation, said recent spending had coincided with a huge surge in the number of alleged traffickers executed for their crimes… The number arrested and executed by the Iranian state has been described as a ‘killing spree of staggering proportions’ by another campaign group, Amnesty International…. Over a four-year period when Britain has been handing its anti-drug aid, Iran has executed more than 1,000 alleged traffickers.”
Other concerns, highlighted by Doyle include “fears that the spending on security equipment such as 4×4 vehicles, night-vision goggles and mobile phone scanning devices could be used to crack down on dissent. Three quarters of all executions carried out in the country are for drug offences, and those sentenced to death include a 12-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy.”
This report made a dent on the media narrative in the UK, but seems to have been missed by the majority of the leading western media outlets.
Narcotics must be dealt with in a responsible, organized and sophisticated manner. We should be alert to the concerns being voiced from much of the Human Rights community regarding Iran’ s irresponsible, disorganized and simplistic killing spree; a response which unfortunately has become all too familiar for those who live under this regime.