Iran’s Foreign Minister backs capital punishment ahead of EU talks
Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi defended capital punishment in the country Wednesday, saying it exists in many other countries, ahead of political and trade talks with the European Union.
"Executions exist not only in Iran, but in many other countries too," Kharrazi said in Tehran following a cabinet meeting.
On the issue of stoning, another issue of concern to Europeans, he said, "Stoning existed in the past, but is no longer practiced today".
The human-rights issue is among the most sensitive matters on the agenda of Iran-EU talks in Brussels Thursday.
The EU, for its part, says it has not set any preconditions for the talks, but insists any progress on trade be linked to developments in political discussions which are to include human rights, international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AFP reported.
On his part, the Iranian Minister said negotiations would focus on various issues, adding, "The discussions will allow both sides to better understand the (others') principles.
"We will see how they can help promote human rights in both Iran and Europe." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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