TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the anti-narcotic squad of Iran’s Law Enforcement Police General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi announced that Iranian forces have seized 240 tons of narcotics during the last 7 months.

„Over 240 tons of different types of narcotics have been discovered throughout the country since the beginning of the current (Iranian) year (March 21, 2010),“ Hossein-Abadi said in Iran’s Northwestern city of Orumiyeh on Saturday evening.

„Seizures included 14 tons of heroin, 2 tons of morphine, 185 tons of opium, 28 tons of hashish as well as other types of narcotics,“ the commander announced.

As regards synthetic drugs, the commander said that 617 kg of Crystal (Methamphetamine) was also seized during the period, adding that seizures of synthetic drugs show a 17% increase compared with the same period last year.

Methamphetamine, a synthetic drug with more rapid and lasting effects than amphetamine, is illegally used as a stimulant. The drug has recently been smuggled and distributed in Iran by drug-traffickers who seek to change addiction behaviors in the country and redirect addicts‘ tendency from conventional drugs, such as opium, heroin and hashish, to those narcotics mostly prevalent in the West, like cocaine, crack, crystal and LSD.

Hossein-Abadi also noted that police have disbanded 941 rings involved in drug-trafficking activities throughout the country and arrested 130, 000 drug dealers during the last 7 months.

Iran leads international efforts in fighting drug networks and narcotic traffickers. According to the statistical figures released by the UN, Iran ranks first among the world countries in preventing entry of drugs and decreasing demand for narcotics.

The United Nations credits Iran with the seizure of 80 percent of the opium netted around the world.

Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian police have lost more than 3700 of their personnel in the country’s combat against narcotics.

Eastern Iran borders Afghanistan, which is the world’s number one opium and drug producer. Iran’s geographical position has made the country a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe.

Each year, the Iranian government spends hundreds of millions of dollars erecting barriers along the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan and pumping resources into checkpoints. Officials said the battle against drug addiction and trafficking costs Iran US$1 billion a year.