International sanctions on Iran set to be lifted
Europe is to lift trade sanctions against Iran – where gay people face the death penalty.
As part of a historic nuclear deal reached with the country, a number of punitive measures put in place will now be lifted.
Representatives from a number of countries attended this week’s talks, including British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The deal, which sees the country agree to cooperate with the UN over its nuclear programme, means that Iran’s frozen international assets will be handed back, and trade embargoes will be lifted.
Iran remains one of the most repressive country in the world when it comes to sexuality- and the Iranian penal code lists sodomy as a crime for which both partners can be punished by death.
Because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is impossible to know how many people have been executed for same-sex conduct.
Two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were hung for homosexual acts in 2005, though the country claims they were actually guilty of rape.
Former MP George Galloway has previously insisted that no homosexuals are ever executed in Iran, despite the lack of transparency.
The politician insisted, after reports that an asylum seeker’s boyfriend had been executed: “All the papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being gay. That’s not true.
“This is being used as part of the on-going propaganda against Iran.”
He claimed that executed gay men were actually killed for “committing sex crimes against young men”.