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Iran to reject Brazil’s offer on convicted woman

August 3rd, 2010

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Iran signaled Tuesday it would likely reject the Brazilian president’s offer to give refuge to an Iranian woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

The case of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani triggered an international outcry that prompted Iran to at least temporarily withdraw the stoning part of her sentence. The mother of two could still be hanged, however.

“A far as we know, (Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula) da Silva is a very humane and emotional person who probably has not received enough information about the case,” ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

Further information would be provided to the president to clarify the situation about “an individual who is a convicted offender,” he added. Iran says the woman has also been convicted of murder.

The outcry over the death sentence is one of the latest thorns in Iran’s relationship with the international community, as the United States, Britain and international human rights groups have urged Tehran to stay the execution.

Silva said Saturday that Brazil could give her political asylum.

Silva’s government has built closer relations with Tehran in recent years and worked with Turkey to form a proposal aimed at resolving Iran’s dispute with the West over its nuclear program.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for developing atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is intended for peaceful purposes such as electricity production.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

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