Between its extremely oppressive government and the strict prohibitions of Islam against drug use, seeing Iran at the top of the list is quite a surprise. And the country’s drug of choice? Opiates. Iran’s strategic location in the Persian Gulf makes it an important transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin on its way to European markets. But, heroin is not the only problem in Iran. Drugs are also pouring into the country from neighboring Afghanistan, mainly opium. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Though Iran suffers one of the highest opiate addiction rates in the world, it also has an increasing problem with synthetic drugs. Also, the Islamic Republic regularly enforces the death penalty for drug offenses. A lack of adequate funding allocated to the fight against drugs is also a major problem in Iran. For instance, the United Nations Drug Office 4-year budget for the embattled country amounts to only $13 million. On the positive side, though, Iranian border controls has stiffened in recent years making more difficult for drug smugglers and crime syndicates to bring drugs to Iran, reducing, mainly, the supply of heroin.