BEIRUT (Reuters) - A senior Iranian official for women's and family affairs has been summoned to court after saying a village near notorious drug smuggling routes where all the men had been executed could turn to contraband to survive.
Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice president for women and family affairs, has been called to answer charges of spreading lies based on a complaint by officials in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, a judiciary spokesman said on Sunday.
The case stems from comments she made in February alleging that all the men in a single village in the province had been executed and their remaining family members needed support because they were all "potential smugglers".
Sistan-Baluchistan province borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan and has long been a shipment route for drugs smuggled from those countries into Iran.
Iranian authorities frequently execute smugglers on drug charges but it was not clear if the men Molaverdi mentioned were put to death for taking part in the illegal trade.
The spokesman did not specify when Molaverdi must appear in court or what sentence she could face if found guilty.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Tom Heneghan)