After months of threatening the execution of Youcef Nadarkhani (photo), the Iranian government is backing away from putting the Christian pastor to death, and is claiming that news stories of the plan to execute him were “unsubstantiated.”
As reported previously for The New American, Nadarkhani has been imprisoned for his faith since October 2009, and was sentenced to death in 2010 for apostasy from Islam. However, according to a story from the International Business Times, the government is claiming that there was never a plan to execute the man who was once the pastor of a 400-member congregation:
“Youssef Nadar-Khani [sic] has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati said on Wednesday, according to Iran state news agency Press TV.
“There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” he added.
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