Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, waits for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during a welcoming ceremony at Tehran's Saadabad Palace on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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At least 850 people have been executed in Iran in the past 15 months as part of a worsening human rights situation under reformist President Hassan Rouhani, a UN official said Monday.Ahmed Shaheed, the rights rapporteur for Iran, described a "surge in executions," giving Iran the world's the highest death penalty rate per capita.Iran has executed 852 people since June of last year, including eight juveniles, said the envoy, who is to present his report to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.The envoy said he had not seen a shift in emphasis from the United States and the West on human rights and that southern countries like Brazil and South Africa were also raising these issues with Tehran.In his report to the 193-nation Assembly, Shaheed also raised concerns over freedom of the press, noting that 35 journalists are currently behind bars in Iran.
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