Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Monday, Oct 02, 2023

Iran denies role in Salman Rushdie attack but claims author is to blame

Iran denies role in Salman Rushdie attack but claims author is to blame

Foreign ministry spokesperson blames author and supporters after stabbing that left him with ‘life-changing’ injuries

Iran has denied having any role in the attack on Salman Rushdie but claimed the author had only himself to blame for crossing a “red line” over Islam in his writings.

Rushdie’s life was reported to be out of danger but he was said to have sustained “life-changing” injuries after being stabbed 10 times when he was speaking at an event on Friday in Chautauqua, New York.

Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old New Jersey man arrested at the scene, was charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, issued a statement on Sunday accusing Iran of encouraging violence against Rushdie, an Indian-born dual US and UK citizen. He was formally condemned to death by decree, or fatwa, in 1989 by Iran’s then supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, after the publication of his book, The Satanic Verses, deemed to be blasphemous by Iran and other Islamic governments.

“Specifically, Iranian state institutions have incited violence against Rushdie for generations, and state-affiliated media recently gloated about the attempt on his life,” Blinken said. “This is despicable.”

Vice News cited unnamed European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials as saying that Matar had been in direct contact through social media with members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The report, however, added that there was no evidence Iranian officials had orchestrated the attack.

Hadi Matar, 24, arrives at the Chautauqua county courthouse on Saturday.

On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said the Tehran government categorically denied any link, declaring: “No one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation,” Kanaani said at his weekly press conference 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,” Kanaani added.

Khomeini’s fatwa was never withdrawn, and was upheld by his successor and Iran’s current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. In 2019, Twitter suspended Khamenei’s account for a tweet in which he described Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie as “solid and irrevocable”.

“Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York,” Kayhan, a hardline paper whose editor is appointed by Khamenei, said in an editorial. “Let us kiss the hands of the one who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife.”

A spokesperson for the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, said Iran’s stance was “ludicrous”.

“Clearly it’s ludicrous to suggest that Salman Rushdie was in any way responsible for this abhorrent attack on him,” they said.

“This was not just an attack on him, it was an attack on the right to free speech and expression. And the UK government stands both by him and his family but equally we will stand in defence of free speech around the world.”

The shadow UK foreign secretary, David Lammy, also condemned the comments, saying they were “truly sickening”.

The attack took place as the future of a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers hangs in the balance. Iran has said it will give a formal response by the end of Monday to an EU proposal on how to revive the deal, which has steadily disintegrated since Donald Trump withdrew the US in 2018.

“Our answer will be given to the EU tonight at 12 midnight,” the foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said. “There are three issues that, if resolved, we can reach an agreement in the coming days.”

US conservatives have called on the Biden administration to withdraw from the negotiations after the attack on Rushdie, and the unveiling of charges last week against an IRGC member alleged to have plotted to assassinate Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton.

The Biden administration has insisted, however, that the nuclear issue should be treated separately from other points of conflict between the two nations.

Rushdie was stabbed three times in the neck, four times in the stomach, once in the right eye and once in the chest, and had a slash to his right thigh.

“The injuries are severe,” his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said in an email to the Guardian. “But his condition is headed in the right direction.”

In a statement on behalf of the family, the writer’s son, Zafar Rushdie, said: “We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen and he was able to say a few words.

“Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact.”


Related Articles

Saudi Press
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Engulfed in Flames Amidst a Firestorm of Protests
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Today, we're unveiling the splendor of one of Saudi Arabia's most exclusive and stunning retreats – the Jeddah Yacht Club
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Muslim Tycoon Asif Aziz Receives Approval for the Transformation of the iconic London Trocadero Landmark into Mosque
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Hospitalized Due to Dehydration Amidst Summer Heatwave
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Saudi Arabia Joins the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia
The Renowned Crown Prince Camel Festival Set to Return to Taif on Aug. 1
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?