An Iranian death row convict who survived a hanging will not face another death sentence, Iran's justice minister has said.

The country's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted justice minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi as saying there is "no need for re-execution" of the 37-year-old man convicted of smuggling drugs, identified only by his first name, Alireza.

Iranian media reported that Alireza was hanged for 12 minutes earlier this month after which he was declared dead.

However, family members who went to collect Alireza's body at the prison mortuary in the city of Bojnourd a day later discovered that he was still breathing.

The convict was then moved to a hospital where he reportedly slipped into a coma while being kept under surveillance by police.

His case prompted debate, with some legal experts arguing he should be hanged again.

Last week Amnesty International urged Iran to spare Alireza's life.

Drug smuggling is one of a number of crimes that can be punished by capital punishment in Iran.

Source: AP