Iran condemns the insulting of French first lady by its media
Tehran on Tuesday condemned the Iranian media for having called the French president's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy "immoral."
The local media had attacked Bruni-Sarkozy after she made a plea online for the life of an Iranian woman, sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, DPA reported.
"Using insulting remarks against foreign officials is not correct and not approved by the Iranian government," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly press briefing.
In an open letter published last week on the internet, the French first lady expressed her support for 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, saying that France would not abandon her.
The Iranian website www.inn.ir responded by calling Bruni-Sarkozy an "immoral woman" due to her background as model and singer.
Also referring to renowned French actress Isabelle Adjani, the Tehran daily Kayhan wrote that "French prostitutes have entered the hue and cry over human rights."
But Mehmanparast said Tuesday that "even if wrong policies are adopted against us, we prefer to deal with them with logical criticism rather than using insulting terms which would fully be contrary to our ethical principles."
He called on the local media to be more careful, and not to harm the Iranian administration by such remarks.
While www.inn.ir has no direct affiliation with the government, Kayhan is a state-run organ of Iran's ultra-radical wing.
Bruni-Sarkozy followed numerous other celebrities, politicians, governments and human rights groups in calling for clemency for Mohammadi-Ashtiani.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani's case has raised international criticism following her conviction of adultery and alleged involvement in her husband's murder.
Her lawyer, who since fled to Norway, and activists say she was forced into a televised "confession."