Gigantic increases in the volumes of seized heroin derived from Afghan and Pakistani opium, processed in Iran, and headed for Azerbaijan (and presumably onward to Russia) have been observed in the last few years.
8. (C) According to [Source removed], export of narcotics from Iran into Azerbaijan continue to skyrocket (see ref b). According to statistics provided to Baku Iran watcher on June 3, 2009 by the UNODC-sponsored counter-narcotics “Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center” (CARICC) headquarters in Tashkent, Iran-origin heroin seizures (i.e., heroin derived from Afghani and Pakistani opium that entered Azerbaijan from Iran) in Azerbaijan nearly quadrupled during the first quarter of 2009, as compared to the first quarter of 2008. According to the GOAJ, virtually all of this heroin had been fully processed in labs and was “ready for market.” Total heroin seizures in Azerbaijan during the first quarter of 2008 reflected a sharp increase over the first quarter of 2007; while in 2006 only twenty kilograms of such heroin was officially reported seized in Azerbaijan during the entire year. In contrast, reported GOAJ seizures of Iran-origin heroin during the first quarter of 2009 amounted to nearly 59,000 kilos, as compared to approximately 15,000 kilos of heroin seized in the first quarter of 2008.
Twenty kilos seized in all of 2006, an unclear seizure volume in 2007, 15,000 kilos in first quarter of 2008, and 59,000 kilos in the first quarter of 2009. An incredible increase that may reflect changing geopolitical alliances in the region, particularly the Iran-Russia relationship.
From Cable Reference ID 09BAKU478, 2009-06-12 12:12, Classification SECRET, Origin Embassy Baku.