UNODC and Iran Interpol met to promote cooperation
Tehran, 2 August - Mr. Antonino De Leo, Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, met with Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Karimi, Commander of the Interpol and International Affairs Department of the Iranian Police Forces, to review ongoing cooperation and explore ways of enhancing technical assistance in order to better tackle serious crime in all its globalized aspects.
During the meeting, General Karimi reviewed positively the recent work carried out by UNODC in the Islamic Republic of Iran and expressed particular appreciation for technical cooperation activities meant to further improve national capacity to confront transnational organized crime, money laundering and other forms of crime. The Commander expressed willingness to expand joint work with UNODC in other areas covered by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In this regard, he affirmed that "UNODC plays a key role in improving Police officers' knowledge on international practices in tackling crime".
Mr. De Leo, on the other hand, referred to the recent visit of the Executive Director of UNODC and to the "impressive" counter-narcotics enforcement results achieved by law enforcement bodies in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The country accounts for the highest rate of seizures of opium (89%) and heroin/morphine (41%) in the world, according to the UNODC World Drug Report 2011.
UNODC Representative in Tehran also expressed satisfaction for the ongoing cooperation between UNODC and the Interpol and Foreign Affairs Department of the Iranian Police Forces, particularly in relation to protection of witnesses and victims of crime. UNODC, in recent years, provided training to Police officers on international cooperation in drugs and crime cases and on transnational investigation and recovery of looted cultural property. He also referred to Interpol's key role in facilitating international law enforcement relations through the consolidated and widely used Interpol network.
Finally, Mr. De Leo reiterated that "UNODC stands ready to further expand technical cooperation on, inter-alia, transnational organized crime and money laundering in the framework of the UNODC Country Programme of Technical Cooperation in the Islamic Republic of Iran (2011-2014). UNODC technical assistance to Interpol and Foreign Affairs Department of the Iranian Police Forces is provided mainly under the framework of sub-programme 3 of the Country Programme, aimed at improving the national legal framework and capacity in countering serious crime, money laundering, corruption, and illegal trade in cultural property, and at promoting international judicial and law enforcement cooperation in line with UN Conventions and international standards. Sub-programme 3 has been generously financed by the Government of Norway.
A new UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighboring countries, scheduled to be launched by the end of 2011, will provide additional opportunities for technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.