Iran's top human rights official responded to UN criticism of the death penalty in his country by saying 93 percent of the executions in Iran are for illegal drug smuggling.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council, made his comments in answering a UN report criticizing Iran's frequent use of capital punishment.
Larijani's comments were posted on the Iranian Judiciary's website on November 1.
The UN report from October 23 said at least 852 people have reportedly been executed between July 2013 and June 2014, calling the figure an "alarming increase" from previous years.
Officials from several European countries convened in Geneva for a UN human rights meeting this week and urged Iran to adopt a moratorium on the death penalty.
Three Afghans were executed on drug-smuggling charges on October 22, while six other Afghans were hanged earlier this year.