Iran said today that a sentence of death by stoning against a woman convicted of adultery that has sparked an international outcry remained stayed pending a final decision by the judiciary. Mother-of-two Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani also reportedly received a 10-year jail sentence after being found guilty of participating in her husband's murder.
"Ms Mohammadi's case is being examined. The sentence for illicit relations has been stayed and is being reviewed," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly press conference.
He said a review of the sentence handed down for her alleged role in her husband's murder was also under way and that a final decision was pending. Mohammadi-Ashtiani's son, Sajjad, told a Paris news conference yesterday that he feared his mother would be executed after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan later this week.
"Ramadan is coming to an end and, according to Islamic law, executions can resume," he told the news conference by telephone. Mehmanparast said that calls by both Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner for talks on Mohammadi-Ashtiani's case "could be a positive act ... and beneficial to discussion of bilateral and international issues."
"But if they say things based on wrong information, it would be beneath their positions," the ministry spokesman added.