'Prostitute' Carla Bruni deserves death: Iran's Kayhan
A hardline Iranian newspaper has stepped up its attack on French first lady Carla Bruni, saying on Tuesday the "Italian prostitute" deserved to die for supporting an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning.
"This Italian prostitute's indignation at Kayhan's report came while she has had illegitimate relationships with different people before and after marrying (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy," Kayhan said.
"Reviewing Carla Bruni's records clearly shows why this immoral woman has supported an Iranian woman who has committed adultery, has contributed to the murdering of her husband and has been sentenced to death, and in fact she herself (Bruni) deserves death," Kayhan said.
Bruni, Sarkozy's third wife, angered Kayhan by signing a petition along with several other French celebrities for the release of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two, whose sentence to death by stoning has generated an international outcry.
Defending Mohammadi-Ashtiani in an open letter, Bruni vowed that France and her husband would not abandon her.
She criticised the stoning sentence against Mohammadi-Ashtiani saying: "Why shed your blood and deprive your children of their mother? Because you have lived, because you have loved, because you're a woman, and because you're an Iranian? Everything within me refuses to accept this."
Human rights officials in the Iranian judiciary say Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to death for adultery in a case that also got her a 10-year jail term for participating in her husband's murder.
Iran says it has yet to take a final decision on the stoning.
France said the insults against Bruni were "unacceptable."
"The insults in the daily Kayhan and picked up by Iranian websites against several French figures, including Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, are unacceptable," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.
"We're making this message known by normal diplomatic channels."
Kayhan, whose managing director and chief editor is appointed by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched a vitriolic attack on Bruni on Saturday.
The newspaper made a blistering assault on her in a story headlined "French prostitutes enter the human rights uproar," in which it criticised Bruni and French actress Isabelle Adjani for supporting Mohammadi-Ashtiani.
"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.
On Monday, the website www.inn.ir branded Bruni a "husband cheater."
"This promiscuous woman of Italian origin, due to her race and actions, is not popular among the French people," the website of government-run Iran group of news outlets said.
The Iranian foreign ministry has criticised the media attacks on Bruni.
"Insulting officials of other countries and using indecent words is not endorsed by the Islamic Republic of Iran," spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.
"I hope the media will pay attention. The media can criticise the hostile policies of other countries, but by refraining from using insulting words. This is not correct."
Kayhan, known for harshly insulting Iranian and foreign figures, has been dragged into court previously by many Iranians, including Nobel peace winner Shirin Ebadi and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a top aide of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
© 2010 AFP