What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Iran's eastern frontier

Having posted on this subject before, I'm now briefly revisiting the topic of drug smuggling from Afghanistan into Iran. I'm just revisiting the topic, while smugglers are revisiting the border areas there on a daily basis in the busier parts of the year. Reuters reports:
"Iranian police ambushed and killed 10 armed drug smugglers near the border with Afghanistan on Monday, the official news agency IRNA said.
Acting on a tip, police forces laid a trap for the traffickers and arrested their leader and seized 350 kg (770 lb) of opium, local commander Colonel Mohammad Gol Mirsadeqi told the agency.
Iran is a main drug smuggling route to the West from Afghanistan, the world's number one producer of opium, the key ingredient for heroin.
More than 3,300 Iranian security personnel have died fighting drug smugglers since the 1979 Islamic revolution."
So, if you want to see how that smuggling works in practice, here's a video you want to see. An excerpt from a quite possibly brilliant 2007 documentary. And no, this is not a Stolichnaya commercial, even though you may notice the bottle on the table at one point.
Briefest post ever? No, not really. I mean, if you took the time to stay to watch the vid, that is.
Update (March 12):
Commander of U.S. CENTCOM, Admiral William Fallon wisely happened to say not so long ago (his words, but fitted here in a reformulated sentence): "There's the shared interest in stemming the flow of narcotics from Afghanistan to Iran. Iran has a huge drug problem, so that's a potential cooperative area."
Of course he also said things like this about Iran: "These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them." In other words, he was looking to think strategically and realistically. Yet he has now had to leave his post. And apparently exactly because of the article I just quoted. Because of his views which were generally not enough in agreement with those of the people further up the chain of command.
Well, I sure don't agree with all that the admirable Admiral thought of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but his approach regarding Iran did appear to make sense.

No comments: