Afghanistan's borders with the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan are under attack from criminal groups that are smuggling precursor chemicals into Afghanistan and trafficking drugs out of the country. Above 70% of Afghan opiates are trafficked via Iran and Pakistan every year. Information sharing and coordination amongst anti-narcotics forces of the three countries are key tools for the achievement of successful counter narcotics results.
The blue flag of the United Nations provides an ideal setting to foster options for regional and transnational cooperation. UNODC has built bridges between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the area of counter-narcotics enforcement through the Triangular Initiative. This initiative was launched by policy-makers from the three countries in Vienna in June 2007; it sets in motion a series of trust building measures and joint operations, with the ultimate goal of information/intelligence sharing. The role of UNODC is to serve as the Secretariat of the Triangular Initiative, facilitate the implementation of technical assistance and mobilize financial support.
Periodic meetings of experts and policy-makers have been facilitated by UNODC since 2007, building trust amongst the three countries' anti narcotics authorities. At the operational level, a Joint Planning Cell has been established in Tehran for information and intelligence sharing and the implementation of joint operations targeting drug trafficking networks operating in the region. Moreover, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have identified strategic locations to place Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) at their common borders to improve information exchange and ensure a concerted inter-agency and cross-border response against drugs and precursor trafficking. So far, eleven joint operations have been conducted since the Joint Planning Cell started its work at the end of 2009. Joint operations between the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan in March 2011 resulted in more than three tons of drugs seized.