An inquiry board from Iran's judiciary has concluded that executions do not deter drug smugglers, with the board head saying Saturday that the amount of such contraband has even increased.
"The expected results were not achieved, and the amount and variety of drugs smuggled into Iran have now become more, not less," said board head Mohammed Bagger Olfat, who also called the inquiry's results sobering, the Tasnim news agency reported.
One reason the executions weren't deterring the crime was that they usually affected the smugglers and not the people in charge. Olfat said a more effective punishment to discourage ringleaders would be longer prison sentences in conjunction with forced labour.
Iran executes more people than any other country worldwide. According to Amnesty International, 977 people were executed there in 2015, and more than 700 have already been put to death since the start of this year.
Execution is the most common sentence for drug-related crimes and child sex abuse, despite growing doubt over its effectiveness at deterring such crimes.
The Iranian justice system believes drug dealers are responsible for the deaths of thousands of youths and must be dealt with accordingly.