Iran denies any link with Salman Rushdie’s attacker and blames the writer himself

Tehran — Iran on Monday denied any link with the attacker of British writer Salman Rushdie however blamed the writer himself for “insulting” Islam in the novel “The Satanic Verses.”

“We categorically deny” any link with the assault and “no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran,” stated overseas ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani in Tehran’s first official response to Friday’s stabbing.

“In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation,” he stated at his weekly press convention in Tehran. “By insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than 1.5 billion Muslims and all followers of the divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people.”

Rushdie, 75, was left on a ventilator with a number of stab wounds after he was attacked at a literary occasion Friday in upstate New York.

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Literary agent Andrew Wylie stated Sunday that Rushdie was “on the road to recovery.” He stated the writer had been faraway from the ventilator on Saturday and was in a position to speak and joke, however he cautioned that whereas he was “headed in the right direction,” his recovery could be a protracted course of, and he may lose an eye fixed.

“Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact,” Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie stated in a statement on Sunday, stressing that his father remained in vital situation.

The prize-winning writer had spent years underneath police safety after Iranian leaders in 1989 referred to as for his killing over his portrayal of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in the novel.

The suspected assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey, was wrestled to the floor by employees and viewers members earlier than being taken into police custody.

He was later arraigned in courtroom and pleaded not responsible to tried homicide expenses.

In 1989, Iran’s then-supreme chief, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a spiritual decree, or fatwa, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie for what he deemed the blasphemous nature of “The Satanic Verses.”

Khomeini died quickly after, and Iranian leaders since have put little concentrate on the writer, however the fatwa was by no means formally lifted. Several translators of the e book have been attacked.

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The assault on Rushdie got here at a delicate second in Iran’s talks with main powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal deserted by the United States in 2018, in return for the re-lifting of crippling U.S. sanctions.

The overseas ministry spokesman Kanani on Monday careworn the position that Rushdie, not Iran, was guilty for the assault towards him.

Commenting on the novel, Kanani stated “the anger at that time at this inappropriate action was not limited to Iran and the Islamic Republic. Millions of people in Arab, Islamic and non-Islamic countries reacted with anger. Condemning the action of the attacker on the one hand and absolving the action of the one who insults sacred and Islamic matters on the other is completely contradictory.”

More than 30 years after its publication, the e book and its writer stay deeply inflammatory in Iran.

Iranians at Tehran’s e book market, when requested by AFP on Saturday to touch upon the assault, didn’t brazenly condemn the stabbing, which has sparked outrage in the West.

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The ultra-conservative Kayhan newspaper, whose director is appointed by present supreme chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, greeted the assault.

“Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York,” it stated.

With the exception of reformist publication Etemad, Iranian media adopted the same line, additionally describing Rushdie as an “apostate.”

One state-owned paper in Iran stated that the “neck of the devil” had been “cut by a razor.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday condemned Iranian state media for having “gloated” about the assault, calling it “despicable.”

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