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Silly Dictator Stories #1: Iranian VP Says 'Zionists' Behind Global Drug Trade

According to the UN’s most recent report on drug use, somewhere between 3 and 6 percent of the global adult population uses illicit drugs. That’s a lot of people -- hundreds of millions.

Although countless amounts of money have been spent countering illegal drug production and trafficking, and millions more spent on treatment and research into addiction, the motivating factors behind addiction may be far more simple -- The Talmud.

In a speech at an antidrug conference in Tehran on June 25, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi posited his theory that “Zionists” -- particularly those who follow Talmudic teachings -- are in control of the illegal drug trade. He went so far as to offer money to any member of the audience who could “research and find one single Zionist who is an addict.” According to Rahimi, there is no such thing as a Zionist drug addict, thus proving his point.

Interestingly, the UN report shows that Israel actually has relatively high rates of illicit drug use (not all Israelis are Zionists, of course) when compared to the rest of the world. More than 8 percent of the adult population uses marijuana, more than 1 percent uses amphetamines, and from 0.5 to 1 percent uses opiates and ecstasy.

Israeli drug use aside, Iran stands on one of the front lines of the global drug trade. According to Narconon International, an estimated 140 metric tons of finished heroin crosses the Iranian border with Afghanistan annually on its way to Europe. Most of it makes it through, as only about 30 metric tons are seized by authorities.

To boot, the UN’s antidrug representative to Iran had -- literally minutes before Rahimi’s speech -- praised Iran’s cooperation in combating the global drug trade. Just a week before the conference, Iranian state media quoted Brigadier General Ali Moayedi -- the country’s top antinarcotics officer -- as saying Iran has “shown practically to the world that we can stop drug trafficking and we are ready to share our experience.” Apparently, vice president Rahimi didn’t get the memo.

This supposed “Zionist plot” is the latest in what has been a common theme from the regime in Tehran. Other such plots include (but are certainly not limited to): the swine flu, the “Harry Potter” series, the London Olympic logo, and the Norway massacre.

-- Zach Peterson

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About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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