Iran: August 31, 2002


:   Port police stopped a shipment of two tons of hashish (disguised as food), from being shipped to Europe. Ten men were arrested for drug smuggling. Earlier this week, 3.2 tons of hashish was seized on the Afghan border. What worries Iranians the most is not the drugs that enter the country and are shipped to Europe, but the stuff that stays and is used by as many as three million Iranian addicts. Both reformers and religious conservatives are upset about this. But the reformers say much of the drug use is caused by economic and social oppression by Islamic fundamentalists. The religious groups blame the reformers for encouraging "un-Islamic" lifestyles. Both accusations are correct, and drug use grows.

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