Iranian lawmakers have amended the country's strict laws on narcotics, making it harder to put people to death for drug-related crimes. The law could affect hundreds of inmates on death row in the conservative country.
Under the new bill, Iranian judges will be able to sentence a suspect to death if the crime involves two kilos (4.41 pounds) or more of hard drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines. This marks a significant change compared to the old legislation, where the legal limit was only 30 grams.
Parliament passed the new legislation on Sunday after months of debate. It is expected to be approved by the conservative Guardian Council and signed into law by the president.
Lawmakers also raised the levels for drugs such as opium and marijuana - from five to 50 kilos.
However, the new law would keep the death penalty for leaders of drug gangs, people who carry firearms or exploit minors while committing drug-related crimes, and - in some cases - repeated offenders.
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