Iranian Authorities on Tuesday sought to distance themselves from comments by a conservative newspaper, which called France's first lady a "prostitute" for condemning the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery. In remarks Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said "insulting" foreign dignitaries like Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is incorrect and not sanctioned by the government.
The Kayhan daily first called Bruni-Sarkozy a "prostitute" Saturday. It repeated the criticism Tuesday. Like the Iranian woman, it said, she too deserves to die.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose sentence has been temporarily suspended, could still face execution after a final review of her case. According to Reuters, Bruni was one of several French celebrities who published open letters to Ashtiani. The wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote: "Spill your blood, deprive your children of their mother? Why? because you have lived, because you have loved, because you are a woman, an Iranian? Every part of me refuses to accept this."
Kayhan reported Bruni's letter on Saturday under the headline: "French prostitutes enter human rights uproar." On Tuesday it wrote again on the issue, saying Bruni's "illicit relationships with various people" and blaming her for causing Sarkozy's divorce from his second wife.