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Source: Iranintl

May 11, 2023

US Seizes $80M Worth Of Heroin Departing From Iran

Author: Iran International Newsroom

The US Coast Guard has seized $80 million worth of heroin from a fishing vessel transiting the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday.

US Central Command said on Thursday that USCGC Glen Harris was operating in support of the Combined Task Force when a team discovered 1,964 kilograms of heroin on a vessel transiting international waters after departing Chabahar, Iran.

The team also seized $30 million worth of methamphetamine and heroin two days ago from another fishing vessel that departed the same port. So far this year, the navy's Combined Task Force 150 has seized illegal narcotics worth $200 million.

“I’m very proud of my crew and all we’ve been able to accomplish as a team this week,” said Lt. Nick Jabs, Glen Harris’s commanding officer. Glen Harris cutter, a Sentinel Class ship, arrived in the region last year and is capable of intercepting drugs smuggled by boat.

“We’re out here to work with regional partners and disrupt any destabilizing maritime activity at sea. We will continue getting after it.”

Bags of illegal drugs sit on the deck of a fishing vessel seized by U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) in the Gulf of Oman, May 10, 2023.

An earlier seizure on May 8 resulted in the seizure of 580 kilograms of methamphetamine and 35 kilograms of heroin in Glen Harris's possession.The destination of the shipment has not yet been disclosed.

Earlier this week, Jordan carried out rare air strikes on southern Syria, hitting a Iran-linked drugs factory and killing a smuggler allegedly behind big hauls across the two countries' border.

The sources said one strike hit an abandoned drug facility in Syria's southern Deraa province linked to the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is allied to Syria's government.

In recent years, Iran has been accused of using its proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen to transport illicit narcotics.

According to the US State Department’s 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Iran is a significant transit and destination country for opiates, cannabis products, and methamphetamine, the vast majority originating in Afghanistan.

“Some corrupt Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps personnel reportedly facilitate illicit drug smuggling or profit from the drug trade,” adds the report.

An estimated 9,000 metric tons of drugs pass through Iran annually, according to Iranian press reports. There was a notable increase in drug seizures and violent incidents along the Iran-Azerbaijan border in 2021.

The Iranian government has been accused of using its proxies to smuggle drugs into other countries for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is to fund its own activities, such as its support for the Syrian government and its involvement in the war in Yemen.

The Iranian government has been accused of using its proxies to smuggle drugs into other countries in order to destabilize them and gain political leverage.

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