On Monday, Iranian state TV aired what it says was a statement from Ashtiani in which she called herself a sinner and said she had been "deceived" by lawyers.
On Tuesday an Iranian court official revealed that two German journalists who allegedly tried to interview her son and her lawyer were facing espionage charges
"These two German citizens had come to Iran claiming to be tourists but their actions in Iran and in Tabriz, providing information and staging propaganda, indicates that they had come for spying," the head of East Azarbaijan provincial court, Malek Azhdar-Sharifi, was quoted as saying by Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency.
Taken together, the two developments suggest the extreme extent to which Tehran is willing to go over the Ashtiani case, which is proving to be a humiliating blemish on the Islamic Republic's already battered international image.
Like in previous broadcasts of her alleged confessions, Ashtiani's face was blurred in the footage. She made accusations that fit squarely with Iranian hardliners' constant refrain that Iran has a fine human-rights record, and that international concern over Ashtiani's fate is all part of some Western conspiracy to defame Iran.