President Bush has continually made known his dislike of drugs and his desire to wipe out drug smugglers in the Middle East. Ironically, his number one enemy, Iran, shares his views on drugs and is among the leaders in dealing with drug smuggling in the region. A UN official, Roberto Arbitrio, described Iran’s work in dealing with drug trafficking as among the “most exceptional(efforts) in the world.” The Iranian government is particularly upset at failure of the United States to curb drug lords in Afghanistan who prey on the youth of Iran. Ebrahim Neukunam, an Iranian member of parliament who deals with drug issues noted, “the presence of the occupying forces, headed by the United States and Britain in Afghanistan has not reduced drug cultivation but it is increasing every year.”
Last year Iran seized 900 tons of opium that crossed its border from Afghanistan and the government estimates about another 1,000 tons was consumed within its borders by drug users who probably number about two million. Perhaps, the United States and Iran could create a joint force to deal with drug smugglers. This might prove to each nation they can cooperate in dealing with Middle Eastern issues.