Iran executes drug traffickers


Iran has executed five people convicted of smuggling drugs in the central city of Isfahan, the website of state-run television IRIB reported today.

Since authorities launched a clampdown on "immoral behaviour" in 2007, police have arrested dozens of drug addicts, smugglers, rapists and murderers.

"Five people were hanged in Isfahan's central prison for trafficking drugs," IRIB reported, without giving further details on when the executions had taken place.

Iran is a key transit route for narcotics smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 per cent of the world's supply of opium, to the West and elsewhere.

Iran is often criticised by human rights groups who say the Islamic republic has one of the highest execution rates in the world.

Iranian media often carry out similar reports of executions every month. In July, news agencies said four men convicted of drug smuggling were put to death in Isfahan.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy -- the renouncing of Islam -- are all punishable by death under Iran's Islamic law practised since the 1979 revolution.