The Iranian justice minister says the country’s war on drugs has imposed enormous costs and a huge loss of life on the country.
Mostafa Pourmohammadi said Monday that the majority of the prisoners and most of the legal cases in the Iranian courts are related to drug offenses.
He said the government has not achieved the “desired outcome” in its war on drugs, despite the “huge investment” made to improve the situation.
Pourmohammadi called for a change in Iran’s approach to the issue and said the fight against drugs should acquire social dimensions.
Sharing a long border with Afghanistan, Iran is one of the major corridors of drug trafficking in the region. Hundreds if not thousands of traffickers, most of them armed, are arrested annually by Iranian police and border guards. Based on the Iranian laws, those involved in large-scale transfer and trafficking of drugs are sentenced to death.
Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights said in early December that the government is “making a big stride” in reducing the number of death penalties being meted out for drug offenses.
Mohammad Javad Larijani said the number of drug-related death penalties could be reduced by 80 percent if the current laws change.