Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Middle East

Tehran says Carla Bruni insult 'incorrect'

Iran sought to distance itself yesterday from harsh remarks by a hardline newspaper , which called France's First Lady a "prostitute" for condemning the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said insulting foreign dignitaries like Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is incorrect and not sanctioned by the government. The Kayhan daily called Bruni-Sarkozy a "prostitute" on Saturday, repeating its criticism yesterday with the addition that the French First Lady deserved to die.

The French Foreign Ministry said it found the comments unacceptable and had brought the matter up with the Iranians. "We are making known to Iranian authorities that the insults made by the Kayhan paper and picked up by several Iranian internet sites regarding several French public personalities including Mrs Sarkozy are unacceptable," said a spokesman, Bernard Valero.