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Iran Denies Involvement But Justifies Salman Rushdie Attack

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Salman Rushdie Attends The 68Th National Book Awards Ceremony And Benefit Dinner On Nov. 15, 2017, In New York. An Iranian Government Official Denied On Aug. 15, 2022, That Tehran Was Involved In The Assault On Author Rushdie, In Remarks That Were The Country'S First Public Comments On The Attack.
Salman Rushdie attends the 68th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 15, 2017, in New York. An Iranian authorities official denied on Aug. 15, 2022, that Tehran was concerned within the assault on creator Rushdie, in remarks that had been the nation’s first public feedback on the assault.
Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian authorities official denied on Monday that Tehran was concerned within the assault on creator Salman Rushdie, although he justified the stabbing in remarks that represented the Islamic Republic’s first public feedback on the assault.

The feedback by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, got here greater than two days after the assault on Rushdie in New York. The author has now been taken off a ventilator and is “on the road to recovery,” in keeping with his agent.

However, Iran has denied finishing up different operations overseas focusing on dissidents within the years because the nation’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, regardless of prosecutors and Western governments attributing such assaults again to Tehran. And whereas Iran hasn’t targeted on the author lately, a decades-old fatwa demanding his killing nonetheless stands.

“Regarding the attack against Salman Rushdie in America, we don’t consider anyone deserving reproach, blame or even condemnation, except for (Rushdie) himself and his supporters,” Kanaani stated.

“In this regard, no one can blame the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added. “We believe that the insults made and the support he received was an insult against followers of all religions.”

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 Andrew Wylie stated. Rushdie was prone to lose the injured eye.

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

Author Salman Rushdie Is Tended To After He Was Attacked During A Lecture, On Aug. 12, 2022, At The Chautauqua Institution In Chautauqua, N.y., About 75 Miles (120 Km) South Of Buffalo.
Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked throughout a lecture, on Aug. 12, 2022, on the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., about 75 miles (120 km) south of Buffalo.
AP Photo/Joshua Goodman

Rushdie has for greater than 30 years confronted loss of life threats for “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late Supreme Leader 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 $three million for the creator, although it has but to supply any touch upon the assault.

Police in New York have supplied no motive but for the assault, although District Attorney Jason Schmidt alluded to the bounty on Rushdie in arguing in opposition to bail throughout a listening to Saturday.

“Even if this court were to set a million dollars bail, we stand a risk that bail could be met,” Schmidt stated.

Matar was born within the United States to folks who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border, in keeping with the village’s mayor. Flags of the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah, together with portraits of Hezbollah and Iranian leaders, dangle throughout the village. Israel additionally has bombarded Hezbollah positions near there previously.

In Yaroun, village information present Matar holds Lebanese citizenship and is recognized as a Shiite, an official there stated. The official, who spoke on situation of anonymity out of safety considerations, stated Matar’s father nonetheless lives there however has been in seclusion because the assault.

In his remarks Monday, Kanaani added that Iran didn’t “have any other information more than what the American media has reported.” He additionally implied that Rushdie introduced the assault on himself.

“Salman Rushdie exposed himself to popular anger and fury through insulting the sacredness of Islam and crossing the red lines of over 1.5 billion Muslims and also red lines of followers of all divine religions,” Kanaani stated.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whereas in a roundabout way blaming Tehran for the assault on Rushdie, made a degree to say Iran in an announcement early Monday praising the author’s efforts in supporting freedom of expression and faith.

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

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul condemned the assault on Rushdie at a lecture Sunday, saying that “a man with a knife cannot silence a man with a pen.”

Khomeini, sick within the final 12 months of his life after the grinding, stalemated 1980s Iran-Iraq battle had decimated the nation’s financial system, issued the fatwa on Rushdie in 1989. The Islamic edict got here amid a violent uproar within the Muslim world over the novel, which some seen as blasphemously making recommendations in regards to the Prophet Muhammad’s life.

While fatwas might be revised or revoked, Iran’s present Supreme Leader 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.”

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

Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors say Iran tried to kidnap in 2021 an Iranian opposition activist and author living in New York. In latest days, a person with an assault rifle was arrested near her home.

Other denials from the Foreign Ministry have included Tehran’s switch of weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels amid that nation’s lengthy civil battle. Independent specialists, Western nations and U.N. specialists have traced weapon elements again to Iran.

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Associated Press author Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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