France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has come under attack by Iran's state-controlled media over her support for an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
In a letter
addressed to Ashtiani, Bruni wrote last week that her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was trying to secure her release.
"I just can't see what good could come out of this macabre ceremony, whatever the judicial reasons put forward to justify it," Bruni wrote. "Shed your blood and deprive children of their mother, why? Because you have lived, because you have loved, because you're a woman and because you're Iranian? Everything within me refuses to accept this."
The ultra-hard-line daily "Kayhan
" condemned the letter and accused the French first lady of "immorality" and breaking up Sarkozy's previous marriage.
In a report titled "French Prostitutes Also Entered the Human Rights Cry" the daily, which often expresses the views of the Iranian establishment, wrote:
"Recently, Carla Bruni, the infamous wife of Nicolas Sarkozy, and Isabelle Adjani, the morally corrupted French actress, expressed support for S.M. Bruni managed to break up Sarkozy's marriage and become France's first lady, yet recently there's been news about her having an affair with a singer."
Iranian state television also criticized Bruni for her letter of support for Ashtiani. State television said in a report that Bruni was trying to justify her "extramarital relations" by expressing support for Ashtiani. The website "Mardomak
" has posted a video clip of the state television report:
"Bruni has said in a letter that she and her husband defend the ideals of [Ashtiani]. She hasn't explained what are the ideals of this convicted person in a moral and homicide case, but since she was in the past a danseuse and a model and known for her extramarital relations -- it is probable that with this expression of solidarity she wanted to cover up her own extramarital relations."
Iran has been angered by the international outcry over Ashtiani's sentence.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari