TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iranian police are ready to enforce Islamic punishment law, such as amputating hands, because a failure to carry out these punishments had led an increase of crimes, the "Ebtekar" newspaper has reported.
Under Iran's Islamic law, repeat offenders face amputation of their fingers for theft, but sentences are seldom carried out, especially in public.
In recent years, such Shari'a sentences have rarely been reported.
"Not carrying the Islamic punishment law, particularly its most important part that is hand amputation, spreads insecurity in Iran," said Asghar Jafari, head of Iran's criminal police, "Ebtekar" reported.
"Police are ready to carry out hand amputation of convicted criminals."
The United Nations and rights activists have in the past criticized Iran for such amputations.
Iran dismisses the criticism, saying the sentences are part of Shari'a.