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.

Speaking out against the Western rule of law with regards to Iran, Larijani added:

Westerners make a mockery of the partnership between a man and a woman as a family unit by saying that two men or two women, homosexuals, can live together as life partners; so based on this analysis, in the near future a human being will be also allowed to marry a cat.

Regarding marriage, Larijani maintained:

Westerners believe that the marriage between a man and a woman is an earthly contract and, if that contract is annulled, they either pay a penalty or they are released. But when we say that we are going to have someone stoned, it is supposedly against human rights. At the same time, these Westerners do not even speak out against a woman who cheats on her husband and produces an illegitimate child.

Larijani, who had previously claimed that the sentence of stoning is much lighter than actual execution because the “defendant can actually survive,” also said:

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.