Iran Hassan Rouhani Austria visit
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been asked by human rights groups to reconsider his regime's stance on executions as a form of punishment Handout via Reuters

A man in Iran has had his fingers chopped off as a punishment for stealing, in what the regime described as "one of the most important policies in the current year".

The 39-year-old is also serving three years in prison for the crime, and his amputation comes in the same week a man is due to be completely blinded in a retribution-style punishment for blinding a taxi driver in 2009.

Corporal punishment was described by the prosecutor in Mashhad, where the sentence was carried out, as: "One of the most important policies in the current year is confronting criminals and carrying out sentences precisely and decisively," the NCRI reported.

Farideh Karimi, a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and a human rights activist, on Tuesday (10 May) said: "In the past two weeks the regime has carried out numerous medieval punishments including flogging a woman in public on April 27 in Golpayegan, approving a sentence to blind a man with acid, yesterday's hand amputation, and two public executions in Kermanshah and Nour on 2 May. All of these point to the barbarity of the mullahs' regime which has unfortunately become more worrisome due to the international community's inaction."

"It is now incumbent upon [the UN Special Rapporteur of the human rights situation in Iran] Mr Ahmed Shaheed to urgently take necessary and effective action to halt the wave of executions and medieval tortures," she added.

Punishments doled out by the Islamic Republic have been criticised by human rights group Amnesty International, which recently highlighted the increase in executions in Iran, while president Hassan Rouhani has been asked to reconsider the regime's stance on corporal and capital punishment by human rights groups.