The favored diplomatic term is "two-tracking," but it's pretty clear that Iran's treatment of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has made her a pawn in the much bigger geopolitical fight between Iran and the West. The White House press release went out on Election Day amidst fears by human rights groups that the execution was set to take place the following day. Instead, Ashtiani is reported in "perfect health" and being held at the Tabiz prison, according to a justice official quoted by the official Irna news agency.
She first came to the attention of human rights groups when her stoning sentence for adultery was upheld by Iran's Supreme Court in 2007. Since then, in an apparent concession to modernity, the Iranians have altered the sentence to death by hanging, which in their culture is a gesture to show mercy.