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Iran suspends stoning execution

Iranian authorities have suspended the execution by stoning of a woman convicted of adultery, the foreign ministry said yesterday, following weeks of condemnation from around the world.

“The verdict regarding the extramarital affairs has stopped and it's being reviewed,” the foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Iran's state-run English-language Press TV.

The statement came a day after the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, called the stoning sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani “barbaric beyond words”. She was convicted of adultery — a capital crime in Iran — in 2006.

She has also been charged with involvement in her husband's murder.

In a live telephone interview, Mr Mehmanparast said the murder charge was “being investigated for the final verdict to be issued”.

Adultery is the only crime which carries the penalty of death by stoning under the sharia law.

Mr Mehmanparast said Ms Ashtiani might receive 15 years' jail if convicted of being an accomplice to murder.

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