Mundra drug haul: Iran slams Adani Ports ban as unprofessional

Days after a large drug haul on the Mundra port in Gujarat made the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) challenge a commerce advisory stating that it’s going to not deal with any container cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan November 15 onward, Tehran has conveyed its displeasure to New Delhi, calling the banning of its consignments as an “unprofessional and imbalanced move”.

This was conveyed Wednesday by Iranian police and narcotic drug management officers to their Indian counterparts.

The National Investigation Agency is probing the case regarding the seizure of two,988.21 kg of heroin at Mundra port by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The heroin was seized from two containers that had been declared as containing “semi-processed talc stones”. The cargo had landed from Afghanistan by way of Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.

In a press release, the Iranian embassy in New Delhi stated police and narcotic drug management authorities of India and Iran mentioned and examined their “shared concerns and challenges resulting from a surge in illicit drug trafficking in the region and the ways and means of mutual cooperation and exchanges as part of the expected outcomes in this respect”.

It stated “for many decades, narcotic drugs production and its organised trafficking from Afghanistan has posed a major threat to Iran, our region and the rest of the world, necessitating a non-stop and united struggle as well as a genuine cooperation and partnership among all countries against this global issue”.

As a direct neighbour of Afghanistan, Iran stated it has additionally been “significantly impacted by other developments” in Afghanistan. It listed three main elements behind the “considerable rise of narcotic drugs production and trafficking” — “occupation of Afghanistan by foreign forces”, “infighting between various groups” and “severe poverty”.

Describing the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan because the “main root causes” of the surge in “chaos, insecurity and exacerbation of illicit drug trafficking” within the area, the assertion stated these are “usually ignored or underestimated”.

It stated Iran has “suffered from many trade restrictions and unjust sanctions” and is as soon as once more “being targeted unfairly through denial of trade” and banning its consignments is “an unprofessional and imbalanced move” – a reference to the APSEZ commerce advisory efficient November 15.

Calling the assembly with Indian officers a “successful dialogue”, the Iranian assertion stated “positive outcomes” can be a “better arrangement for deepening our cordial relations”.