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USA: Visa-Free Regime with Iran Might End Up with Increased Drug Import in Georgia

04.03.2011
Visa-free regime with Iran might end up with increased drug import in Georgia. It was stressed out in the report of the US State Department on the international control of drug-dealing.

“In 2010, Georgia signed an agreement for visa free travel with the Islamic Republic of Iran . The exact timeframe for the implementation of this agreement remains unclear. If appropriate inspections and checks are not instituted and enforced, this agreement could lead to still more drugs entering Georgia. This seems likely as up to 40 percent of Afghan opiates pass through Iran. Smuggling of these opiates is a problem now along all of Iran’s borders to the South, West and North, so there is good reason to fear that easier passage between Iran and Georgia could invite traffickers to try the “new” route”, reads the report of the US Department.

The authors of the report stressed out that Georgian authority should reinforce its control on narcotic business.

“The first and most pressing gap is the absence of a detailed specific Anti-Drug National Action Plan. The current Anti-Narcotics National Strategy established by the Parliament in 2007 only outlined main priorities,” the report of the State Department reads.

The report also indicates that there is a lack of systemic drug preventive measures; treatment methods are developed with little or no attention given to social rehabilitation following detoxification. Information about dangerous drugs is inadequate, and statistics about drug use are limited and unreliable. Current national legislation does not conform to UN drug conventions’ requirements.

In the introduction of the chapter about Georgia, the US State Department Report states that because of its location bridging Asia and Europe, Georgia is becoming a major transit corridor for drugs of abuse produced elsewhere.

The report was published on March 3.

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