Payback is a bitch and Iran is a frequent example of this in action. Iran is asking for the world to ease up on all the sanctions so that special sensors and other security equipment can be bought for use on their 936 kilometer border with Afghanistan, to aid in keeping the opium and heroin out. Despite clergy control of the police and having their own private army (the Revolutionary Guard), the number of drug addicts continues to rise. Iranian officials have openly blamed Israel for the continuing growth in drug addicts, not the easy access to drugs from neighboring Afghanistan. The opium and heroin started coming from Afghanistan over two decades ago and have created several million Iranian addicts. The government admits to having two million addicts (most to opium, a fifth to the more expensive heroin). This is believed to be a low count, but for a country of 75 million it’s a major social and criminal problem.
The army and police fight a low level war against drug smugglers on the Afghan border. There are several hundred casualties a year from this fighting, but enough drugs get through to supply Iranian addicts and users throughout the Persian Gulf. Recently this counter-drug force has been seizing about 42 tons of drugs a month.
Iran’s appeal for sanction relief has been ignored, even for something of mutual benefit like fighting drug smugglers. The main reason for stiffing the Iranians is because their neighbors don’t trust Iran. After all, this is a country that has long maintained a special unit (the Quds Force) for supporting terrorism operations in foreign countries. Iran has lied many times to its neighbors on numerous issues and no one believes that lifting the sanctions won’t lead to some of the new military gear going to Quds as much as to the counter-drug forces on the Afghan border.