Iran Distances Itself from Insult to Bruni-Sarkozy

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran has sought to distance itself from harsh remarks by a hard-line newspaper, which called France's first lady a "prostitute" for condemning the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

In comments Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says "insulting" foreign dignitaries like Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is incorrect and not sanctioned by the government.

The Kayhan daily first called Bruni-Sarkozy a "prostitute" Saturday. It repeated the criticism Tuesday. Like the Iranian woman, it said, she too deserves to die.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose sentence has been temporarily suspended, could still face execution after a final review of her case. The case has prompted an international outcry.