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Thousands Arrested In Nationwide Anti-Drugs Sweep In Iran

May 22, 1994

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iranian security forces have seized more than three tons of drugs and arrested more than 6,500 traffickers, peddlers and addicts in a weeklong nationwide sweep, Tehran radio reported Sunday.

The crackdown was the latest effort by Iran to stem rampant drug abuse. The government blames the problems on neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan, both major cultivators of poppies used to produce heroin and other illicit drugs.

Brig. Gen. Ali Shafii, a senior official of Iran’s anti-drugs agency, said 1,425 agents raided nearly a thousand neighborhoods across the country, according to the broadcast, which was monitored in Cyprus.

He said his men arrested 2,678 drug traffickers or peddlers and more than 4,000 addicts. He said the drug haul totaled 7,260 pounds, but did not say what types of drugs were seized.

He also did not say when the operation began or ended.

The government has hanged thousands of traffickers the past six years under a law that mandates the death sentence for drug dealers. Tens of thousands of addicts have reportedly been arrested over the same period.

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