Baroness Rendell of Babergh
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are planning to provide any anti-drugs assistance to Iran. [HL515]
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
Most of the heroin sold on Britain's streets originates in Afghanistan, the world's largest producer of opium. Iran is a key country on the heroin route from Afghanistan to Europe. We share an interest in co-operation against the drugs trade.The Iranians make the world's largest seizures of opiates—253 tonnes in 1999. But it has been at a cost. Around 3,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in clashes with drug traffickers in the past 20 years. They deserve our help.The FCO has recently agreed to provide £400,000 towards the UNDCP/Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran Combined Interdiction Unified Strategy (CIRUS) programme in Iran to assist with anti-drugs work on their eastern border with Afghanistan and Iran.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office assistance is ring-fenced specifically for the established and successful CIRUS project.