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Iran 'to reject stoning case offer'

Iran is likely to reject Brazil's offer to give refuge to a woman convicted of adultery and initially sentenced to death by stoning, officials have said.

The case of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani triggered an international outcry which prompted Iran to withdraw the stoning part of her sentence. But the mother of two could still face execution by hanging.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that Brazil, which has tried to negotiate a solution to Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, could give her political asylum.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said that Mr Silva's offer reflected his "humane and emotional personality" but that the Brazilian leader probably has insufficient "information about the case".

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