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France asks EU to ponder measures against Iran over human rights

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • France is concerned about the stoning case
  • Kouchner raised the issue with the EU
  • An Iranian woman has been sentenced to death

Paris, France (CNN) -- France has asked the European Union to come up new tacks against Iran to stop a pending execution of a woman sentenced to be stoned to death.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner raised the issue with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, asking that measures be studied to bring Iran to stop such violations of human rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday.

"We need to encourage the Union in initiatives to remind Iranian authorities that, as well on the nuclear file, their attitude of isolation has a price, which they can liberate as soon as they choose a more responsible behavior and more in line with their international commitments on the subject of human rights," Kouchner said in a letter to Ashton published in the French press.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a mother of two, has been sentenced to death for adultery. Last month, Iran's top human rights official said the Islamic regime is reviewing her sentence as international outrage emerged over the development.

The International Committee Against Stoning, a human rights group, said a court has delayed the final verdict of the woman. Iran announced she will not be executed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.