On May 1, Mohammad-Javad Larijani — head of the human rights council in Iran’s judiciary — participated in a conference where he offered his analysis regarding Iranian penal laws, which he claims are being attacked and criticized by international human rights organizations.
He said that retaliation, the cutting off of hands and feet, the removal of a “defendant’s” eye, and even stoning were a very real part of Iranian judicial law:
The problem is that these Westerners go on and on about their own laws. The interpretation of laws in Iran is based on Islam and our constitution. We have made concessions to some of the international demands, but we have our own laws and we will carry them out as interpreted.
Retaliation and punishment are beautiful and necessary things. It’s a form of protection for the individual and civil rights of the people in a society. The executioner or the person carrying out the sentence is in fact very much a defender of human rights. One can say that there is humanity in the act of retaliation.
In the past he defended stoning as a “lesser punishment than execution because you have a chance to survive“.