Iran Denies Involvement In Salman Rushdie Attack, Instead Blaming ‘The Satanic Verses’ Author And “His Supporters”
The Iranian government has denied any involvement in Friday’s attack on Salman Rushdie and laid the blame at the feet of The Satanic Verses author and his supporters.
In a statement in the past hour, a spokesman for the Middle Eastern nation’s Foreign Ministry said “nobody has the right to accuse Iran” of being behind his stabbing, which left him on a ventilator.
“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,” said Nasser Kanaani, in comments reported by the Associated Press. “Nobody has right to accuse Iran in this regard.”
Kanaani added that Iran did not “have any other information more than what the American media has reported.”
Rushdie was stabbed while about to deliver a lecture in New York State on Friday and his attacker, Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty. Rushdie’s agent has said he is “on the road to recovery” but “the injuries are severe” and he will likely lose one eye.
Rushdie has been the subject of an Iranian fatwa, or death sentence, for almost 35 years, since the release of his 1988 book The Satanic Verses, for which he was accused of making light of the Prophet Muhammad. A bounty of $3M remains against him and he has spent many years in hiding, while there have been many protests against his work. The 75-year-old dual British/American citizen is viewed as a free speech champion in many parts of the Western world.
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