By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ten drug dealers were executed in Tehran after their verdict was reluctantly signed by Mohammad Reza Shah.
Iran's vigorous police campaign began 14 years before, when health officials discovered to their alarm that 1 out of 10 Iranians was an addict. In some villages such as Sabzevar where they grew poppies, almost everybody above the age of five smoked opium. Over the years, a government crackdown against poppy growing reduced Iran's addicts however, smugglers began bringing in opium from neighboring Afghanistan, and the number of addicts rose to 250,000 in 1968.
As a result, the government last July prescribed death by firing squad for anyone convicted of possessing more than two kilograms of opium or ten grams of heroin, morphine or cocaine.
Part of the problem is that Iran is a major hub for drug smugglers.
After the Revolution of 1979 despite expectations from an Islamic country, Iran ranks high in drug abuse, while the United States continues to be the largest consumer of illegal drugs in the world, consequently because of neighboring or occupying the world's largest opium producer: Afghanistan.
On Sep, 19, 2011, an Iranian newspaper announced that authorities have hanged 22 people convicted of drug trafficking. The executions were carried out Sunday in Tehran Evin prison as well as a prison in the city of Karaj.
Iran has become a leading figure in combating drug trafficking; so far Iranian authorities have made over 85 percent of the world's total opium seizures. Between 2009 and 2010, the amount of illicit drugs seized by Iranian police totaled over 340 tons. The question is who can distribute that huge amount of smuggled drugs and goods in Iran?
In a televised speech on July, 2, 2011 the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pointed out that the smuggling brothers; clearly referring to influential people in IRGC had a hand in smuggling goods through unsupervised ports. He added that they had each created a hole somewhere bringing in whatever they wanted.
Crimes that are punishable by death penalty in Iran include drug trafficking, murder, rape, armed robbery and kidnapping. Nonetheless spies, Bahais, political activists and minors have been executed occasionally.