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Iran Arrests Eight Thousand Addicts in Five Days


July 1993

The Iranian government rounded up 8,615 drug addicts in a five-day dragnet, threatening to execute any addict who had previously been charged with the crime of addiction twice before (Reuters, "Iran Said To Seize 8,615 In Anti-Drug Sweep," New York Times, 6/24/93, A7).

Authorities also reported arresting 882 drug dealers and seizing more than two tons of opium, morphine, and hashish between June 16 and June 20. Iranian law permits execution for those arrested for addiction three times, but there have been no reports of mere addicts being executed. The state has executed more than 1,000 drug dealers since 1989 when the law was tightened making possession of more than one ounce of heroin or 11 pounds of opium a capital offense. Smoking of opium and hashish is traditional in Iran. Recently it has become a route for smuggling drugs from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe. There are approximately 1 million drug users in Iran.