Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that there has never been a sentence of death by stoning against a woman accused of adultery and complicity in the death of her husband.
"Someone in Germany has spread false news in this regard which led to all the commotions against Iran," he said in an interview with the US-based ABC News network aired on Sunday.
His remarks contradicted earlier statements by officials in Tehran, who said Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, 43, was sentenced to death for adultery but the verdict is currently under review. Initial news of the stoning sentence provoked strong international criticism.
Ahmadinejad, who is in New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly, said that even if the woman was guilty, she would still have the chance to go through four instances of appeal.
A woman claiming to be Mohammadi-Ashtiani confessed last month on Iranian state television that she not only had a sexual liaison with her husband`s cousin, but also helped the cousin to kill her spouse after having drugged him.
The woman also criticised lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, saying that she had to suffer shame after he made the case internationally known.