This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: That was a clip from "The Stoning of Soraya M.," a movie that depicts the true story of a young woman facing public execution by a corrupt Iranian regime. And sadly that story could be playing itself out again in Iran.
Now an Iranian woman has been in prison for several years for committing adultery. She has already received 99 lashes and the regime originally sentenced her to death by stoning.
However, in recent days international outrage appears to have caused that sentence to at least temporarily be halted. A statement from the Iranian embassy in the U.K. says she will not be stoned imminently.
Unfortunately, the death sentence remains and another equally horrible punishment could take its place. Her son is now calling for his mother to be freed immediately.
And joining me now with reaction to this very unsettling story is the director of "The Stone of Soraya M.," Cyrus Nowrasteh, and Fox News contributor Tamara Holder.
You know — but, first of all, Cyrus, welcome back, good to see you. We covered this movie at the time. If people have not seen it, it's out on DVD. And I'm not pushing your movie because we're friends, it is a powerful movie. It's based on a true story.
When you heard this story, were you as shocked as I was of the similarities here?
CYRUS NOWRASTEH, "THE STONING OF SORAYA M.": Well, not really, Sean, because this goes on unabatedly in Iran. And one of the reasons why we made this movie is because — to make people more aware that this goes on and to hopefully stop it from happening. So that the world would know that this — these stonings continue.
HANNITY: Yes, you know, Tamara — first of all, when she gave — supposedly gave a confession that was after she got 99 lashes with a whip. She since, by the way, has retracted this confession.
She has been in jail over four years now. She was about to be stoned to death. If it wasn't for international outrage she would probably be facing the stoning imminently.
TAMARA HOLDER, ATTORNEY: Right. It is so sad. But it takes really one face to bring to light all of these humanitarian issues around the world. And that's what we really need to focus on. It's not just one person here.
We're talking about thousands if not millions of people around the world who are tortured, who are beaten, who are killed, who are just in prison wrongfully.
HANNITY: Well, it's also — as part of your research, Cyrus, I mean, this is a fairly common practice. The treatment of women under these rigid Islamic regimes. This is common.
You know, people don't realize. In Saudi Arabia they've got this morality police. They go ahead. They check people to see if, you know, women in a park with a man that is not a member of their family, and they get in trouble. And if they drive they get in trouble. Basic rights are nonexistent under Sharia law.
NOWRASTEH: Well, in Iran, women have very few legal rights, if any. I mean the fact is, if a woman is accused of a crime, she has to prove that she is innocent. Whereas, if a man is accused of a crime you have to prove that man is guilty. So, the whole legal system is set up against women over there.
HANNITY: By the way, do you know, Cyrus, I liked Concerned Women for America. I thought they raised a great question in their piece about this. Whatever happened to the man who is accused of having the affair with her?
NOWRASTEH: I have no idea. And I haven't heard. More often than not, they get off. And all attention is focused upon punishing the woman.
The amazing thing about this case too is that they supposedly a confession from her, but only after she was whipped 99 times.
HANNITY: Yes. And she's since — as I pointed out retracted that confession. Let me — this raises some political questions. All right, Concerned Women for America, they've come out strongly, four square, in bringing awareness, international awareness that may now be having some impact.
Where's the National Organization for Women? And where's the president of the United States of America?
HOLDER: I knew this question was coming. You know, I don't know. I guess he's trying to figure out the BP issue or the war in Afghanistan, I don't know. But, you know, we have the issue in — the issue in Darfur. There are 600 people who were killed just last month alone. I mean last month.
Last month alone, innocent civilians. So these are problems going on around the entire world. Where does he address? Where does he address the issue? Which country, which person, which face, which statistics, what's wrongful conviction in this country?
HANNITY: Well —
HOLDER: It's everywhere.
HANNITY: You know, on the political side, Cyrus, I don't know how much I wanted — you want to get drag into this, but I'm going to drag you anyway. I'd like to see the president take a stand. Just like when there were freedom fighting kids, youth, in Iran, where was the president of the United States?
This seems like one of these moments where he can confront extremism. He goes on a worldwide apology about America. He speaks to the Muslim world. Doesn't talk about America's contributions to Kosovo, Indonesia, Kuwait and Iraq and freeing women in Afghanistan from the Taliban.
I'd like to hear from the president, wouldn't you?
NOWRASTEH: Absolutely, Sean. I mean, last year, Iranian youth risked their lives in the streets. We saw the murder of Nada in the streets of Iran.
The fact is, there was a BBC report that Ahmadinejad and the Grand Ayatollah had planes waiting to leave and I think unfortunately, the administration's response last year was very tepid.
HANNITY: Yes. All right. I'd really recommend "The Stoning of Soraya M." And it would really shed some light on what happens under Sharia law to many, many women.
And Cyrus, thank you. Tamara, good to see you in studio. Thank you for being here.
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