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Synthetic Drugs A Growing Problem In Iran

Synthetic Drugs A Growing Problem In Iran

TEHRAN — There are 100,000 drug addicts on the streets of Iran, the country's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli estimated Wednesday, saying that his agency had a "legal duty" to "pick them up" and send them to obligatory rehabilitation centers.

He said $3 billion was being spent every year on illegal drugs in the country, and that users were being supplied with an increasingly "diverse" selection of synthetic drugs, the reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd reported.

Resolving addiction can't be handled by families alone, he said. With synthetic drugs, he added, "Families do not realize their children are addicted ... because industrial drugs are odorless and have no special signs."

Iran is a neighbor to two of the world's primary drug producing and trafficking areas, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Drug traffickers face the death penalty in Iran.

Another official commented on the social cost of drugs, naming "theft and drugs" as the country's two most prolific categories of offenses. Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, deputy head of the judiciary, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that 45% of Iran's prison population was jailed for drug-related offenses.

— Ahmad Shayegan

Photo: Crystal meth — Source: Psychonaught

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Why The World Still Needs U.S. Leadership — With An Assist From China

Twenty years of costly interventions and China's economic ascent have robbed the United States of its global supremacy. It is time for the two biggest powers to work together, to help the world.

Photograph of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden walking side by side in the Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California​

Nov. 15, 2023: Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden take a walk after their talks in the Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California

María Ángela Holguín*


BOGOTÁ — The United States is facing a complex moment in its history, as it loses its privileged place in the world. Since the Second World War, it has been the world's preeminent power in economic and political terms, helping rebuild Europe after the war and through its growing economy, aiding the development of a significant part of the world.

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Its model of democracy, long considered exemplary around the world, has gone through a rough patch, thanks to excessive polarization and discord. This has cost it a good deal of its leadership, unity and authority.

How much authority does it have to chide certain countries on democracy, as it does, after such outlandish incidents as the assault on Congress in January 2021? The fights we have seen over electing a new speaker of the House of Representatives or backing the administration's foreign policy are simply incredible.

In Ukraine's case, President Biden failed to win support for the aid package for which he was hoping, even if there is a general understanding that if Russia wins this war, Europe's stability would be at risk. It would mean the victory of a longstanding enemy.

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