Iran denies being involved in attack on Salman Rushdie

An Iranian authorities official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie, in remarks that have been the nation’s first public feedback on the attack.

The feedback by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Overseas Ministry, come over two days after the attack on Rushdie in New York.

Nevertheless, Iran has denied finishing up different operations overseas focusing on dissidents in the years for the reason that nation’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, regardless of prosecutors and Western governments attributing such assaults again to Tehran.

“We, in the incident of the attack on Salman Rushdie in the U.S., do not consider that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters,” Kanaani stated. “Nobody has right to accuse Iran in this regard.”

An Iranian lady reads a paper in Tehran on February 14, 2000 displaying a drawing depicting British creator Salman Rushdie as a hanged man.
AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Rushdie, 75, was stabbed Friday whereas attending an occasion in western New York. He suffered a broken liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye fixed, his agent stated. He was prone to lose the injured eye.

His assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has pleaded not responsible to costs stemming from the attack via his lawyer.

The award-winning creator for greater than 30 years has confronted loss of life threats for “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding his loss of life. A semiofficial Iranian basis had put up a bounty of over $3 million for the creator, although it has but to supply any remark on the attack.

Kanaani added that Iran didn’t “have any other information more than what the American media has reported.”

The West “condemning the actions of the attacker and in return glorifying the actions of the insulter to Islamic beliefs is a contradictory attitude,” Kanaani stated.

Khomeini, in poor well being in the final yr of his life after the grinding, stalemated Nineteen Eighties Iran-Iraq conflict had decimated the nation’s economic system, issued the fatwa on Rushdie in 1989. The Islamic edict got here amid a violent uproar in the Muslim world over the novel, which some considered as blasphemously making solutions concerning the Prophet Muhammad’s life.

Whereas fatwas might be revised or revoked, Iran’s present Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — who took over after Khomeini — has by no means executed so. As not too long ago as February 2017, Khamenei stated: “The decree is as Imam Khomeini issued.”

Iran with building showing Iranian flag.
Rushdie was stabbed 15 occasions through the attack in western New York.
AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Since 1979, Iran has focused dissidents overseas in assaults. Tensions with the West — notably america — have spiked since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled America out of Iran’s nuclear cope with world powers in 2018.

A Trump-ordered drone strike killed a high Iranian Revolutionary Guard basic in 2020, additional fueling these tensions.

Final week, the U.S. charged a Guard member in absentia for allegedly plotting to kill one-time Trump adviser and Iran hawk John Bolton. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an aide are below 24-hour safety over alleged threats from Iran.

In the meantime, U.S. prosecutors say Iran tried to kidnap in 2021 an Iranian opposition activist and author dwelling in New York. In current days, a person with an assault rifle was arrested close to her residence.

Different denials from the Overseas Ministry have included Tehran’s switch of weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels amid that nation’s lengthy civil conflict. Impartial consultants, Western nations and U.N. consultants have traced weapon elements again to Iran.

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