It’s not all bad news out of Iran this afternoon. Sure, they just got busted trying to put together a hit team to blow up an American restaurant and kill hundreds of innocent people, not to mention a couple of embassies… but on the bright side, condemned pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is getting a retrial. Fox News reports:
Iran’s Supreme Court has ordered a retrial for a pastor sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his Christian beliefs.
State media reported that the high court sent the case back to lower court because of concerns about the initial investigation.
“If there is an appeal and the case is returned to the supreme court, the case will be reviewed,” read a statement quoted by ISNA, the Iranian student’s news agency, AFP reports.
This is clearly a response to international pressure, but it might only be a temporary reprieve. After the apostasy death sentence for Nadarkhani produced outrage around the world, the Iranians began muttering that he was also a rapist, extortionist, pimp, and all-around menace to society. None of those charges have ever been mentioned before – the pastor was arrested after he “protested to local authorities that his son was forced to read from the Koran and school” – but a fresh round of trials could take care of that little detail.
If Iran was hoping to disperse the international attention to Nadarkhani’s plight with a retrial, let us hope they were sadly mistaken.