181208 Hassan Rouhani 4
Hassan Rouhani Image Credit: AP

Tehran - President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned Western countries that they will face a massive influx of drugs if Iran becomes weakened by US sanctions.

Rouhani spoke in Tehran at a six-nation conference on fighting terrorism attended by parliament speakers of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Russia.

In remarks broadcast on state TV, Rouhani said a weakened Iran would be less able to fight drug trafficking.

“Weakening Iran by sanctions, many will not be safe,” he said. “Those who do not believe us, it is good to look at the map.”

Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe and the Gulf. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium with its Helmand Province being the biggest opium-producing region. Opium is the raw material for heroin and Afghan farmers harvest about 80 per cent of the world’s supply, according to UN reports.

Iran’s economy is reeling after the US re-imposed sanctions lifted under Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal and began restoring sanctions. Rouhani called the US sanctions as “economic terrorism”.