West’s criticism of Iran’s human rights record is politically motivated: IPM director

October 1, 2007

TEHRAN -- The West has frequently conducted propaganda campaigns against the Islamic Republic of Iran in regard to human rights issues, Institute for Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM) Director Mohammad Javad Larijani said in an interview published on Sunday.

Larijani discussed various issues such as Islamic legal penalties and human rights issues in an exclusive interview conducted by the Iranian Students News Agency.
On the Islamic punishment of stoning for certain high crimes such as adultery, he stated that it is neither “torture” nor “disproportionate punishment”, adding that this punishment is almost never carried out in Iran and the recent stoning in Takestan was a judicial mistake.
Iran establishes human rights committee
In line with a decision by the Supreme National Security Council, which was approved by the Supreme Leader, a human rights committee has been established to address human rights issues nationwide, he said.
Larijani, who serves as the committee’s secretary, explained that it is chaired by the Judiciary chief and its members include the foreign, intelligence, interior, justice, and culture ministers as well as a number of judicial and military officials.
The human rights committee has so far submitted 2000 pages of reports in response to United Nations inquiries into the human rights situation in Iran, he stated.
Islamic punishments and human rights
He said that a significant amount of the Western criticism of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue of human rights is politically motivated.
The Westerners are culturally and intellectually self-centered, Larijani observed, adding that they think their liberal democratic point of view should be universally accepted, but the Islamic Republic of Iran can never accept it.
Western countries are criticizing Iran over the fact that its criminal code includes stoning, he stated, adding that they argue that stoning is torture and not punishment and that even if it is punishment, it is not proportionate to the crime.
They say that under international treaties that it has signed, Iran has agreed to ban torture and disproportionate punishments, Larijani said. “We say that we accept both of these, but we reply that it (stoning) is neither torture nor disorientate punishment.”
Islamic jurisprudence is an open field and discussions can be held on stoning, he added.
Furthermore, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi has decreed that utmost care should be exercised in convicting a person of the crime of adultery, he explained.
“I can say that we do not carry out the punishment of stoning in practice because utmost care should be exercised in the procedure of conviction,” Larijani stated