Iran media brands Carla Bruni 'prostitute' over stoning case
French first lady Carla Bruni was branded a "prostitute" and "immoral" by Iranian news outlets on Monday after she expressed support for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning.
A report on www.inn.ir called Bruni "immoral" after a blistering attack on the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy by the hardline Kayhan newspaper on Saturday branded her a "prostitute."
Kayhan's description of Bruni "is confirmed when her massive immoral background is reviewed," said www.inn.ir, the website of government-run Iran group of news outlets.
On Saturday, Kayhan ran a story headlined "French prostitutes enter the human rights uproar," in which it criticised Bruni and French actress Isabelle Adjani for supporting Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, the 43-year-old Iranian mother of two, who has been sentenced to death by stoning.
"Bruni, the singer and depraved actress who managed to break the Sarkozy family and marry the French president and who is said to have an affair with a singer, has said in S.M's (Sakineh Mohammadi) defence that the verdict is unfair", Kayhan wrote.
The website www.inn.ir followed Kayhan's lead and also branded Bruni a "husband cheater," saying "her record clearly shows why this immoral woman has supported an Iranian woman who has been convicted of committing adultery and of being an accomplice in her husband's murder."
"This promiscuous woman of Italian origin, due to her race and actions, is not popular among the French people," the website said.
Bruni, Sarkozy's third wife, angered the two media outlets by signing a petition for the release of Mohammadi-Ashtiani whose death by stoning sentence has generated an international outcry.
Human rights officials in the Iranian judiciary say Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery in a case which also got her a 10-year jail term for participating in her husband's murder.
On Saturday Iran said it has yet to take a final decision on the stoning of Mohammadi-Ashtiani.
"In this case, implementation of the sentence has been stayed and is under review by the judiciary," ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told AFP.
Kayhan, whose managing director and chief editor is appointed by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is known for harshly insulting Iranian and foreign figures.
It has been dragged to court previously by many Iranians, including Nobel peace winner Shirin Ebadi and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a top aide of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Meanwhile the conservative website Asriran spoke out against the attacks on Bruni.
"It is necessary for Iranian media, which claim to adhere to Islamic and Iranian culture, to be polite in their comments even if it is against the enemies," it said in a report posted on Monday.
The comments made about Bruni "are not the viewpoints of the Iranian government or of the people," it added.
© 2010 AFP