The spokesman for the Iranian judiciary announced on Sunday that drug charges will continue to attract heavy penalties.

Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejei

Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejei

At a press conference on August 30, Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejei said the judiciary will not be lenient with drug convicts, especially smugglers and transporters of drugs.

According to the Iranian penal code, selling a certain amount of drugs is punishable by death.

Activists have been calling for limits on the death penalty. The head of the Judiciary’s Human Rights Commission, Mohammad Javad Larijani, has previously said the commission is trying to soften the penalty for drug charges and reduce executions in the country.

Judiciary spokesman Mohseni Ejei denied claims that capital punishment has no effect on reducing drug offences and argued that without it, the situation would be even worse.

Iran spends billions of dollars on the fight against drugs. Scores of officers die each year in armed conflict with smugglers. Eighty percent of executions in the country are drug related. The majority of prisoners across the country are in jail for drug offences.