The current Justice Minister, mullah Pour-Mohammadi, had previously said that the application of the death penalty should be reviewed. He repeats that sentiment now, despite sending a total of 77 people to be hanged in September alone.
Pour-Mohammadi cannot be expected to reduce the amount of executions, given that he was a member of the death committee who authorised the murder of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. When irrefutable evidence of his involvement surfaced earlier in 2016, he claimed he was proud of his role in the massacre.
The Iranian Regime is the world leader in executions per capita, according to the most recent Amnesty International report on the death penalty. The international community must hold the Iranian mullahs to account over their abuse of human rights within the country; they cannot be appeased.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states that since 2009, a pattern has been established, whereby executions drop in the weeks leading up to the elections and rise sharply just afterwards.
Javad Larijani, who oversees human rights in the regime, claimed in 2014, that they were campaigning to decrease the execution rate by up to 80%. This has not happened and he went on record this year saying that he was against the full removal of capital punishment because certain dangerous crimes deserve it. The crimes he listed as potentially worthy of execution included certain drug-related offences and criticism of the government.
The Regime’s parliament has also made statements about reducing the number of executions and in 2015, 70 members of the Regime’s parliament signed a plan to remove capital punishment from drug charges but it was not ratified.
This year, the same plan was backed by 100 MPs but it again has not been ratified.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran said: “These deceptive manoeuvres are indicative of weakness and [the] fragile situation of a regime that is deeply scared of frustrated people uprising, and has no way forward and no way back in the deadlock of increasing domestic and international crises.”