NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Producers and distributors of counterfeit money will be sentenced to death under a law that will go into effect next month, state-run Tehran radio reported Tuesday.
The broadcast, monitored in Nicosia, said Economic and Financial Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Iravani announced the planned legislation at a news conference.
It quoted him as saying, ″Counterfeiters of legal tender, or those involved in counterfeiting, distributing or using counterfeit tender with knowledge of its lack of authenticity will be sentenced to death.″
He also said anyone importing counterfeit currency into Iran or knowing of such action would face execution.
Five months ago, Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic government decreed the death penalty for possession of illegal drugs. Official announcements have reported 558 executions since that law took effect.
Iranian opposition groups contend the capital punishment laws are being used to eliminate political opponents of Iran’s revolutionary patriarch, leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.