TEHRAN - Iran will completely seal off its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan by 2015 to prevent drug smuggling and infiltration of armed groups, media quoted the police chief as saying Saturday. About 90 percent of Iran's eastern borders have already been sealed," Arman newspaper quoted General Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam as saying.
"The remaining 10 percent, in the region of Saravan [near the southeastern border with Pakistan] will be closed within three years," he said. "The border will be sealed even to pedestrians."
In early 1990, Iran began to build a "wall" to seal its approximately 1,800-kilometer-long border with its neighbors to control drug trafficking and infiltration of armed rebel groups or bandits.
According to official figures, some 3,700 members of Iran's security forces have been killed in a three-decade long battle with drug traffickers and armed groups, often equipped with heavy weapons in the restive eastern provinces. The country remains a main corridor for drug traffickers who smuggle narcotics from Afghanistan to the Middle East and Europe.
Tehran seized some 420 tons of drugs, or nearly 80 percent of the opium and 40 percent of heroin seized in the world, according to official figures confirmed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Tehran. (AFP)