An Iranian Islamic cleric has denounced western politicians for decriminalizing homosexuality, saying that such politicians are worse than animals.

Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an influential scholar, while interpreting the Sharia law in a speech in Iran's Qom city said that homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, a Khabar Online report said.

Referring to Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases, he said they are God's way of punishing mankind for all the wrong doings. Homosexuality is a sin and man is being punished for the same.

If the community commits a sin then there will be a new punishment for it, Javadi-Amoli told his followers. Citing Qur'anic verses about Prophet Lot, who was punished by God for his homosexuality, he said that homosexuality is not allowed by God and is unnatural, according to Quran.

Animals don't do it and neither the Jin ...even birds or predators don't do it...it is disgusting...if a man does that then he is inferior to animals, according to Qur'an, he said, as mentioned in the report.

Referring to the Qur'anic verses on sodomy, Javadi-Amoli, master of the Qom seminary, said that the culture of the West which allows homosexuality is inferior to animals and cannot be approved in Islam.

In Iran, sodomy is illegal and there are very strict laws against it. The law says any non-procreative sex is a crime, irrespective of whether it is consensual or not. Sodomy is punishable with a death sentence depending on the role of the persons involved in the act. For lesbianism, the punishment is 100 floggings to the women involved.   

Though, Iran officially maintains that it does not kill anyone for homosexuality and claims that whoever has been executed on those grounds has committed rape, human right organizations allege that the situation is grim for homosexuals in the country.