The government of Sweden on Wednesday took its position as the president of the European Union as part of a rotating six-month term.
In one of its first statements since assuming office, the Swedish presidency of the European Union condemned a series of weekend executions in Iran.
“The presidency strongly condemns the executions in Iran during the past few days, in particular the execution of 20 persons on July 4, in the city of Karaj,” a presidential statement read.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported during the weekend that 20 people were hanged at a prison in Karaj, 20 miles west of Tehran, following their conviction on drug-trafficking charges.
Six others were hanged July 2 on similar charges.
The EU presidency called on Iran to abolish the death penalty and establish a moratorium on executions under the terms of U.N. General Assembly resolutions.