Ten million Iranians are currently working in the drug industry, according to the country’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.
Iran’s drug industry is believed to be worth $1.5 billion annually.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA, reported the interior minister’s concern over the unprecedented increase in the quantities of drug trafficking in the country. In 2016 authorities seized 653 tonnes of drugs through more than 1,000 Iranian police operations.
Of prisoners in Iran were jailed for drug related offences
Iran’s drug control headquarters believes that one person dies every three hours because of drug related issues. It was also revealed that 15 per cent of those who died were women. Official reports also indicate that 22 per cent of alcoholics are also women.
It’s thought that the number of female drug addicts is doubling in the country as well as the number of addicts in general, costing the health industry millions of dollars.
A member of the Health Committee in the Iranian Parliament believes that 10 million people profit from the country’s drug industry and it’s believed that one in seven Iranians are profiting from drugs in some shape or form.
The amount of drugs seized during 2016 increased by 14 per cent compared to 2015, according to the interior minister. Fazli explained that there are two million drug addicts in Iran and authorities were able to treat 750,000 abusers. The minister went on to say that the number of drug traffickers is five times worse.
Fazli also added that the drug trade in Iran is gripping the nation’s economy, damaging trade, the administrative system, stock markets and the culture of the country. Some 46 per cent of prisoners are in jail for drug related offences, the minister said, while 52 per cent are in jail for other crimes such as robbery, murder and violence against women.
Iran has carried out the death penalty for drug traffickers. But the minster believes that Iranian authorities have not punished drug traders effectively because of the growth in the trade and also because of the increase in drug addiction in the country.