Iran 'categorically' denies any link to aggression, blames Salman Rushdie

Iran “categorically” denies any link to the aggression, blame Salman Rushdie


Iran, after three days of silence, on Monday “categorically” denied any involvement in the stabbing attack in the United States against Salman Rushdie, blaming the author of the “Satanic Verses”, 33 years after Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa condemning the writer to death.  

“We categorically deny” any link between the aggressor and Iran, and “no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran”, affirmed Nasser Kanani, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his weekly press conference.

This is Tehran's first official reaction to Friday's attack on the 75-year-old British and American writer on the dais of an amphitheater at a cultural center in Chautauqua, in the northwest. of New York State.

“In this attack, only Salman Rushdie and his supporters deserve to be blamed and even condemned”, judged the Iranian spokesman during his weekly press conference in Tehran.

“By insulting the sacred things of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than one and a half billion Muslims and all followers of divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to people's anger and rage. “, he added.

Hospitalized with serious injuries after the attack, Salman Rushdie, 75, is doing a little better according to his relatives. He is no longer on life support and “the road to recovery has begun”, welcomed his agent Andrew Wylie in a press release sent to the Washington Post. 

“Anger of millions of people”

Salman Rushdie, born in 1947 in India into a family of non-practicing Muslim intellectuals, set part of the Muslim world ablaze with the publication in 1988 of “Satanic Verses”, a novel judged by the most rigorous as blasphemous with regard to the Koran. and the Prophet Muhammad.

The founder of the Islamic Republic issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, who had lived for years under police protection.

Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the writer has never been lifted and many of his translators have come under attack.

“The anger shown at the time (…) does not is not limited to Iran and the Islamic Republic. Millions of people in Arab, Muslim and non-Muslim countries reacted angrily” to Salman Rushdie’s book, the Iranian foreign affairs spokesman said on Monday.

He considered it “completely contradictory” to “condemn on the one hand the action of the aggressor and absolve the action of the one who insults sacred and Islamic things is completely contradictory”.

The aggressor suspected, Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old American of Lebanese origin, was charged with “attempted murder and assault”. He pleaded “not guilty” through the voice of his lawyer. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that Iranian state media were “jubilant” after the attack on the 'intellectual. “It is despicable,” he observed in a statement.

In Iran, the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan praised “this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and the vicious Salman Rushdie”.

Javan, another ultra-conservative newspaper, wrote that it is a plot by the United States which “probably wants to spread Islamophobia in the world”.

A sensitive subject in Iran, several people interviewed by AFP in recent days in Tehran refused to comment on the attack on Salman Rushdie in front of a camera.