Iran stonings 'practices of another age': Ashton

27th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Union's foreign policy chief said Friday the EU was about to reject "practices of another age", after a woman was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran.

France urged the European Union earlier Friday to threaten Iran with new sanctions over the case of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, despite Tehran's warning to the West not to interfere.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wrote to foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to call for all 27 member states to warn Tehran not to execute her, in a letter seen by AFP.

"Your concerns over the human rights situation in Iran exactly reflect mine," Ashton said in a letter to Kouchner, of which AFP obtained a copy.

"As for the case of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to stoning, I think, as you do, that the moment has come for the European Union to collectively express its rejection of practices of another age," she said.

Ashton said the EU was undertaking "discreet" steps in Tehran.

"If they do not yield convincing results, I would only see advantages in EU members sending a collective letter to the Iranian authorities quickly."

© 2010 AFP

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