Iran hangs dozens of drug peddlers


Tehran : The Iranian government has hanged dozens of drug traffickers in the first month of 2011 and vowed to pursue its anti-drug trafficking campaign. The latest one to be hanged was an Iranian-Dutch woman.

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On Saturday, Iran hanged the Iranian-Dutch woman identified as Zahra Bahrami for smuggling drugs into Iran, keeping and selling them in the country.

Bahrami was charged with “keeping and selling drugs,” Xinhua quoted the Tehran prosecutor’s office as saying Sunday.

“The convicted woman was a member of an international gang engaged in drug transits,” said the prosecutor, adding she smuggled drugs twice into Iran and distributed cocaine inside the country via Dutch connections, said the judiciary official.

She was arrested for “security crimes,” but investigators found 450 grams of cocaine and 420 grams of opium in in her house, and later investigations revealed that she had sold 150 grams of cocaine in Iran, said a report by the official IRNA news agency citing the prosecutor’s office.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that Iran would not surrender to the Western propaganda over Bahrami’s case, adding that her case involved drug smuggling.

“The western countries should welcome Iran’s campaign against drug smuggling and even cooperate with Iran in this regard,” Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Bahrami’s hanging followed a string of executions of drug traffickers in the Islamic republic earlier in the month.

On Jan 19, Iran hanged 10 men in the city of Karaj, 45 km west of Tehran, for supplying and distributing different kinds of drugs.

On Jan 13, Iran hanged five drug traffickers in the western city of Khorramabad, the capital city of Lorestan province, for supplying and distributing drugs, after it had hanged seven drug traffickers in Tehran a day earlier for keeping and distributing heroin, hashish and opium.

On Jan 3, Iran hanged seven unidentified drug traffickers in the central prison of the western Kermanshah city who were convicted of producing and distributing heroin and crack, Kermanshah prosecutor Mojtaba Maleki was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Two days earlier, Iran also reported the execution of eight drug smugglers in the central city of Qom.

Iranian judiciary officials have reiterated their determination to carry on their fight against drug-smuggling into the country.

Iran is located at the crossroad of international drug smuggling from Afghanistan, the world’s top opium producer, to Europe.

Drug-trafficking, along with some other crimes including murder, adultery, rape and armed robbery, invite death penalty in Iran.