The case of an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death for adultery will remain a domestic issue, President Ahmadinejad has ruled, despite international outcry and an offer of asylum from Brazil.
REUTERS - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a woman condemned to be stoned to death would not be sent to Brazil, despite President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's offer to grant her asylum.
The sentence imposed on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for adultery has caused an international outcry and become a surprise campaign issue in Brazil's October presidential election.
Lula, who has close relations with Ahmadinejad, offered asylum to the woman this month, a proposal declined by the foreign ministry whose spokesman said Lula had "not been provided with enough information" on the issue.
In an interview on Iran's state-run English language Press TV, Ahmadinejad said: "I think there is no need to create some trouble for President Lula and to take her to Brazil."
"We are keen to export our technology to Brazil rather than such an issue," he added. The interview was broadcast on Monday night with a voiceover translation into English.
"There is a judge at the end of the day and the judges are independent. But I talked with the head of the judiciary and the judiciary does not also agree with such a thing," he said.
But Marco Aurelio Garcia, Lula's top foreign policy adviser said Brazil may try again to save the Iranian woman, adding that Brazil was treating the case as a "political issue".
"If we didn't believe it would help, we wouldn't insist," Garcia said. Another Brazilian government source who asked not to be named expressed doubt that Brazil's efforts would succeed.