In the face of so much international scrutiny and condemnation, Iran has a decision to make: Stoning for adultery while married is enshrined in Islamic law (see here for why it doesn’t matter that it’s not in the Qur’an), but is it too bad for Iran’s image to actually carry out in this case? On the other hand, the regime has its legitimacy as an Islamic government to uphold among the likes of the cleric Mesbah Yadzi, who says there is no room for democracy, freedom, or human rights in the Islamic Republic.
Here, Iran can: 1.) hold off for now, and hope the world’s collective attention span runs out, 2.) go ahead with stoning or another form of execution, or 3.) try to save face by suddenly deciding that, upon further review, the case is to be fully or partially dismissed, and issue some form of reprieve on the sentence.
For the moment, it looks like Iran is leaning toward the third option, even if only to buy time. “Iran: Woman’s stoning sentence on hold,” from CNN, September 8:
Tehran, Iran (CNN) — Iran has put the stoning sentence of a woman convicted of adultery and murder “on hold,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told state-run Press TV on Wednesday.
While the statement did not differ greatly from previous, sometimes contradictory reports from the Iranian government about the fate of the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, it did indicate continued attention to the murder aspect of her case.
“The sentencing of Ms. Ashtiani for adultery has been stopped and (her case) is being reviewed again, and her sentencing for complicity in murder is in process,” Mehmanparast said….