ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the West might receive a “deluge” of drugs, refugees, and terrorist attacks if current US sanctions weaken the country’s ongoing efforts to control them.
“I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran’s ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected... you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism,” Rouhani said during a live broadcast televised by Iranian-state media, quoted by Reuters.
The leader’s comment comes one month after the US imposed the second round of sanctions on Iran, targeting the country’s financial and energy sectors.
Iranian television also quoted Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif as saying that Washington is selling more weapons to the Middle East than the needs of the region would dictate, making it a “tinderbox”.
US President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Drug trafficking is one of the major challenges for Iran as it borders with the world’s largest opium producer – Afghanistan, and a major transit country for drugs – Pakistan. UN reports published in 2014 show that Iran accounted for two-thirds of the world’s opium seizures in 2012 and one-fourth of the world’s heroin and morphine seizures.
“Economic terrorism means creating horror in a country and creat[ing] fear in other countries that intend to invest [there]. America’s withdrawal from the [nuclear accord] is undoubtedly a clear example of economic terrorism,” Rouhani said during a meeting of heads of parliaments of China, Russia, and four other countries.
Zarif also warned about US arms sales in the Middle East, pointing out that a top buyer is Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia.
IRNA reported Zarif as saying, “The Americans have turned the region into a tinderbox. The level of arms sales by the Americans is unbelievable and much beyond regional needs and this points to the very dangerous policies followed by the Americans.”
Editing by John J. Catherine