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Iranian authorities say a woman will not be stoned to death after being convicted of adultery.

But it was not clear whether they had lifted the death sentence against 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Mohammad Mostafavi, a lawyer representing Ashtiani, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda today that his client's appeal has already been rejected twice.

He said her case "is being analyzed at the Order Execution Council. In such a case, the judge has the responsibility to carry out the penalty. Up until now, no order of suspending the sentence has yet been given by higher officials."

Mostafavi added that Ashtiani "has now appealed for the third time. Unfortunately, the authorities did not even see the appeal through for the third time, as they had rejected it twice after consideration before."

She had been convicted and sentenced in 2006.

Before that she had received a flogging of 99 lashes. There has been an international campaign to prevent her execution.

Mostafavi also noted that following coverage of the story in "The Times" of London, Iran's ambassador to Britain said in a letter to that "Ashtiani's sentence will be suspended, adding that stoning to death is no longer a part of Iran's new constitution and such sentences are rarely carried out.

"This was what was also sent to me, but Iran's Justice Department has not yet suspended the sentence of stoning to death."

with agency reports
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