Clinton Issues Statement on Ashtiani Death Sentence

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern today over reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman accused of murder and adultery, will still face execution. Her statement may signal a greater focus on humanitarian conditions in Iran from the State Department.

Clinton said:

I am deeply troubled by reports that Iranian authorities are finalizing plans to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Iran’s leaders have failed once again to protect the fundamental rights of their own citizens, particularly women. Ms. Ashtiani’s case has not proceeded with the transparency and due process guaranteed under Iranian law, and we are concerned about reports of coerced confessions and other mistreatment. The United States joins the international community in calling for Iran to immediately halt any plans for Ms. Ashtiani’s execution and to handle her case with utmost transparency.

In late September, President Obama signed an Executive Order that imposed sanctions on Iranian officials who had participated in human rights abuses.

This past October, Green movement leader and former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi told the New Yorker’s Laura Secor that while the movement would  “avoid any dependence on other countries,” he also emphasized that, “if [foreign countries] feel a humanitarian obligation to support us, that is another thing.”

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. Pity the State Dept. has so little institutional knowledge of Islam and Sharia law. If they did know Sharia law, they’d know about the principle that traditional claims of Adultery must have 4 witnesses of the very organs engaged in flagrante delicto. It is not sufficient to surmise or deduce that adultery must have occurred. Rather, according to the tradition, Iran should suppress this story, and encourage this woman to get right with her behavior.

    I appreciate Brazil’s attempts to intervene. If we had a policy of finding the best outcomes, we could couple this with the Brazil/Turk nuke fuel swap.

  2. Ashtiani also has a murder charge against her. Shouldn’t that be memtioned once in a while?

    With all our extrajudicial killings by our drones in Afganistan,Pakistan and now Yemen we have no right to point out the sins of others.

    Especially since the CIA gets much of it’s information from Eric Prince’s (of Blackwater) subsidiary companies. Wasn’t it 30 that now work for the CIA? War-for-profit wins again.

  3. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern today over reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman convicted of adultery, ”

    Eli – you clearly disappoint here, falling for pure anti-Iran propaganda.

    The women is accused and was judged for aiding and abetting murder of her husband by two men who she also allegedly slept with.

    The punishment for that, in the first level of court, was stoning. But that was only a symbolic judgment. Stoning has been stopped in Iran in 2002 – totally. The sentence to stoning was taken back by a higher court in July!

    Additionally any sentence to death gets a mandatory review by a higher court. It was thereby never a chance that the original symbolic judgment would stand.

    Now the woman may get a sentence to death for the original sin – helping in killing her husband.

    I do not condone the death penalty – neither in the U.S. nor in Iran, but blaming Iran for something that regularly happens in the U.S. is stupid.

  4. Unfortunately, when it comes to the US criticizing Iran over the application of the death penalty, two words come to mind. And they are pot and kettle. Perhaps the Obama administration should put their own house in order before they complain about other countries’ behavior!

Comments are closed.