A United Nations investigator said executions in Iran have been rising at "an exponential rate" since 2005 and could top 1,000 this year as the country cracks down on drug offenders.
Ahmed Shaheed said in a report to the General Assembly October 27 that Iran executes more individuals per capita than any other country in the world.
He said the majority of executions violate international laws that ban the use of capital punishment for non-violent offenses and juveniles.
Shaheed, the UN's special investigator on human rights in Iran, said 69 percent of executions during the first six months of 2015 were for drug-related offenses, reflecting a rising drug influx in the country.
The Iranian government views drug trafficking as a "most serious" crime, he said, because of its effect on the health and security of its citizens.
While the overall human rights situation in Iran remains "dire" and even "alarming," Shaheed said, Iran seems more willing to discuss human rights since signing a nuclear deal with world powers in July,
Based on reporting by AP and dpa