Drug trafficking and border control
Drug trafficking represents a major challenge for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The geographical location of the country, particularly its 1,923 km long porous eastern border with Afghanistan - the world's largest illicit opium and cannabis producer - and Pakistan, has turned it into a major transit country for illicit drugs. In response to these challenges, over the years the country has built one of the strongest counter-narcotics enforcement capabilities in the region and beyond. In 2008,The Islamic Republic of Iran accounted for the highest rate of opium seizures (89%) in the world, as well as heroin/morphine (41%), according to the UNODC World Drug Report 2011.
The Islamic Republic of Iran reportedly spends millions of dollars annually in border control, including for the construction of expensive barriers along its borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. More than 3,700 national law enforcement officials have been killed in counter-narcotics operations over the last three decades.
In addition to opium and heroin trafficking, the Islamic Republic of Iran also faces new difficulties from emerging trends of illicit production and trafficking in Amphetamine Type Stimulants. Over the last few years, there has been a sudden and massive increase of reported seizures of high purity crystalline methamphetamine ('Shisheh').National authorities have also detected greater reliance on in-country production of Amphetamine Type Stimulants, mostly methamphetamines.