Islamic Republic of Iran

UNODC Country Programme (2011-2014)

Sub-Programme 1: Illicit Trafficking and Border Management

Sub-programme 1 of the Country Programme focuses on illicit trafficking and border management, working towards the achievement of the following outcomes/outputs: 

Under Sub-programme 1, border management, illicit drugs, precursors and Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) interdiction capacities are being enhanced through the delivery of value-added technical cooperation. Support is also provided to national authorities to facilitate the implementation of the Triangular Initiative (TI) on counter-narcotics enforcement amongst Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, particularly in the following three areas:  establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs), information/intelligence exchange and intelligence-led investigations, and a cross-border communication system. Bilateral, regional and international cooperation is fostered within the framework of existing regional and international initiatives, such as the Global Container Control Programme, Operation TARCET, Paris Pact Initiative, meetings of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries. Dialogue and exchange with the international anti-narcotics community (e.g. the Mini-Dublin Group and Drug Liaison Officers) is also being promoted.


Major Achievements of Sub-Programme 1 in 2011- 2013:

  • UNODC Iran supported the establishment of the Customs Administration drug dog contingent programme in 2012, and has continued its technical support to the Anti-Narcotics Police (ANP) drug-detecting dog training centre, ongoing since 1999. Since the implementation of Sub-programme 1 started in 2011, UNODC has procured 28 drug-detecting dogs (18 for ANP and 10 for Customs) and provided specialized training for handlers, in addition to search kits, drug test kits, and special vehicles for the transportation of dogs, which are used to facilitate the operation of drug-detecting dog units across the country, particularly at the eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Supply of drug detecting dogs to the ANP and Customs Administration is expected to increase the seizures of illicit drugs. Several tons of different types of drugs are seized by the Iranian law enforcement authorities on an annual basis thanks to detection dogs. 
  •  UNODC has contributed to the enhancement of the Customs Administration and ANP drug intelligence analysis capacities through the organization of specialized training courses.
  •  UNODC Iran has engaged the Iranian drug testing laboratories in the International Collaborative Exercise (ICE), which provides them with the opportunity to assess and strengthen their capacity in analyzing the seized drugs.
  •  With the aim of promoting maritime security, UNODC introduced Iran to the Global Container Control Programme (CCP), a joint programme between UNODC and the World Customs Office (WCO) to assist countries to establish effective container controls in selected sea ports in order to prevent the exploitation of shipping containers for drug trafficking or other illicit activities. A Container Control Unit (CCU) was established in 2012 in Bandar Abbas, the most important port of the country in terms of the volume of transit containers, with the support of UNODC through providing the necessary office equipment and training personnel on risk assessment and container profiling.
  •  Sub-programme 1 has been working in tandem with the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, reinforcing the latter's overall strategy and contributing to its outcomes through the engagement of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the platforms created and supported under the Regional Programme. In addition to its co-chairmanship of the Regional Programme for 2013/2014, Iran has been actively participating in numerous activities and meetings organized under the Regional Programme, such as the meetings of the Regional Intelligence Working Group on Precursors (RIWGP) (Tashkent, May 2012, and Tehran, August 2013), the Synthetic Drugs and Clandestine Lab Training (Ankara, April 2013), and a regional workshop on Forensics (Almaty, October 2012).
  •  UNODC has played an instrumental role in promoting regional and sub-regional partnership between the Iranian counter-narcotics authorities and their counterparts in Afghanistan and Pakistan within the framework of the Triangular Initiative (TI). The TI umbrella of cooperation has operationally engaged the three countries in finding field-oriented solutions to the transnational threat posed by the trafficking of Afghan opiates and the diversion and smuggling of associated precursors.  TI has three aspects of significance: (1) political value, (2) confidence building, and (3) technical cooperation. The significance of the TI in terms of its political value lies in its ability to engage the three countries with the international donors and other United Nations member states.

The following key developments have been achieved under the TI with UNODC Iran's support and engagement:

- UNODC Iran has been facilitating regular consultations between the three TI partners during periodic meetings at the expert, Senior Officials, and Ministerial levels.  

- A Joint Planning Cell (JPC) was established in Tehran for information and intelligence sharing and the implementation of joint counter-narcotics operations, and became fully operational by stationing 3 Permanent Liaison Officers (PLOs). A total of 19 simultaneous / joint operations have been planned and conducted by the JPC from 2009 to mid 2013, leading to the seizure of 11,664 tons of different types of drugs and 530 liters of illicit chemical precursors.

-  In 2012, JPC and the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) started exploring the possibilities of operational collaboration, with UNODC Iran's support.

- Two Border Liaison Offices were established in the Iranian sites of Taybad and Mirjaveh on the borders with Afghanistan (Islamqala) and Pakistan (Taftan), respectively, and were equipped by UNODC. To date, the Office has also facilitated two operational meetings between Taybad and Islamqala BLOs.

- UNODC Iran has been actively supporting new initiatives launched under TI, e.g the Maritime Security Initiative (MaRes) and the promotion of alternative livelihood and job creation at the Afghan border provinces with Iran and Pakistan. The Office took part in the organization of the first meeting on Maritime Cooperation under MaReS, which was held on 21 April 2013 in Tehran and brought together senior counter-narcotics enforcement and maritime officials from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and  the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The second Maritime Cooperation meeting was held in Kabul on 19 August 2013, with the participation of senior counter-narcotics enforcement officials from the three TI partners. The two events concluded with important recommendations including, inter-alia, the establishment of a Regional Maritime Network among TI members and willing regional states; the appointment of Focal Points by the regional member states; the initiation of an Action Plan; and the establishment of a data bank.

- As a result of a 5-month real-time intelligence-led exchange and cooperation among Iran, UAE and Pakistan, the Iranian and UAE maritime forces seized 7.3 tons of different types of drugs (heroin, opium, and hashish) in the Persian Gulf waters from 20 to 23 August 2013. The seized cargo was for trafficking to regional states, African and European destinations.