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Nov 1, 6:10 AM EDT

Iran says 93 percent of executions drug-related

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Responding to a United Nations report criticizing death sentences in Iran, a senior official in the Islamic Republic is saying that 93 percent of executions in the country involve drug smuggling.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council, made the comments in a report posted on the judiciary's website Saturday.

The Oct. 23 report by the U.N. said at least 852 people were reportedly executed between July 2013 and June 2014 and called it an alarming increase.

Delegates from many European countries have urged Iran to adopt a moratorium on the death penalty at an ongoing human rights meeting in Geneva.

Iran previously has threatened to allow drug smugglers through its territory to Europe if the West continues to criticize it for executing convicted drug traffickers.

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