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Condemned Iranian woman 'would accept' asylum in Brazil

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Human rights group says Ashtiani met briefly with her son Thursday
  • Ashtiani's son says she would accept asylum offer, if granted
  • Brazilian official says Lula was speaking "spontaneously"
  • Rights group: Ashtiani's lawyer says execution will go forward

(CNN) -- The son of an Iranian woman facing a possible stoning says his mother would accept an offer of asylum from Brazil, a human rights group said Thursday.

The International Committee Against Stoning released a statement detailing a brief meeting between Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani and her son, Sajjad Ashtiani. They were allowed to see each other for 10 minutes on Thursday.

Ashtiani's son said his mother "is grateful for the offer made by Brazilian President [Luiz Inacio] Lula da Silva," according to the committee's statement. He says she would accept it "graciously" if the asylum was granted.

Last weekend, Lula was quoted by Brazil's official state news agency EBC as saying "I want to make an appeal to my friend

Ahmadinejad ... and to the government of Iran to allow Brazil to take in the woman."

But an Iranian government official is downplaying the offer. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said Thursday that Lula is a "very humane and kind person" but that he "may not have had enough information regarding this case."

To complicate matters, an official with Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Relations said Lula has not extended a formal asylum offer to Ashtiani. Liliam Beatris Chagas de Moura said Lula was speaking "spontaneously" when he made the statement, and that no instructions had been given to the ministry to start the asylum process on Ashtiani's behalf.

Earlier Thursday, one of Ashtiani's lawyers told the International Committee Against Stoning that Iranian authorities have decided to go forward with Ashtiani's execution. The lawyer told the group that no more appeals will be allowed. However, the method of execution has not yet been determined.

Iran's high court will decide within a week whether Ashtiani will be stoned or be executed in another way.