Iranian Foreign Minister defends country’s death penalty for homosexuality

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has defended his countries laws which outlaw homosexuality and punish offenders with the death penalty.

Speaking at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Zarif answered a reporter’s question saying the country was driven by “moral principles”.

“Our society has moral principles, and according to these principles we live,” Zarif responded. “These are moral principles regarding the behaviour of people in general. And that’s because the law is upheld and you abide by laws.” Zarif said.

The comment was first reported in German newspaper Bild. Iran is one of 70 countries globally that has criminal penalties for homosexuality.

There were reports that a 31 year man was hanged in January after he was found guilty of taking part in homosexual acts. He was accused of kidnapping and homosexuality.

A 2008 report from Wikileaks estimated that since the current regime began in 1979 between 4,000 and 6,000 gay and lesbian people had been executed in Iran.

OIP Staff, Image: Published under a creative commons licence Creative Commons 2.0