The plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, is resonating in Italy, a country that does a lot of business with Iran. The story has gained enough notoriety that the Vatican has indicated it might intervene diplomatically.


The Vatican said it was “following this affair with attention and commitment,” spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

“The Church’s position against the death penalty is well known and stoning is a particularly brutal form of it,” he said.

Fr Lombardi said the Vatican could use diplomatic channels to try to save Ms. Ashtiani, but he told the Associated Press news agency that no formal request to intervene had been made.

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