The Iranian government through its embassy in London has finally put out an official response to the furor over Pastor Yousef, and it sounds a lot like Alfred E. Newman:

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London renounces the published news regarding the death penalty for Mr. Yousof Nadarkhani and announces that the Court of Appeal in the Islamic Republic of Iran has not issued any verdict on his case. Accordingly, the allegations to the issue of the death penalty for the above mentioned, are unsubstantiated.

The American Center for Law and Justice responds:

These are boldfaced lies being spread by the Iranian regime about Pastor Youcef because they have been caught in the act of attempting execute a man for his faith, something that violates international and Iranian law and reportedly hasn’t happened in Iran for over 20 years.

We have the actual verdict from the Iranian supreme court (in original Farsi and translated into English by the Confederation of Iranian Students in Washington ), which provides undeniably that “Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani . . . is convicted of turning his back on Islam . . . .” The verdict further states, “During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging . . . .”

There is no question that Pastor Youcef has been convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death. It is crucial that Secretary of State Clinton – our top international diplomat – take the lead and that the United Nations (U.N.) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) end their silence on this issue and pressure Iran to spare Pastor Youcef’s life and release him unconditionally.

The ACLJ also reports that it can confirm that, as of today, Pastor Yousef is still alive. Keep praying!

(Via The Moral Liberal from Viviana Duque Rodas.)