Iran denies involvement in attack on author Salman Rushdie
An Iranian government official on Monday denied that Tehran was involved in the attack on author Salman Rushdie, in that those remarks were the country’s first public comments on the attack.
The comments by Nasser Kanaani, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, came three days after the Rushdie attack in New York state.
Iran has denied carrying out other operations abroad against dissidents in the years since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, despite prosecutors and Western governments. West attributes such attacks back to Tehran.
“We, in the case of the Salman Rushdie attack in the US, do not think that anyone deserves to be blamed and charged except him and his supporters,” said Kanaani. “No one has the right to accuse Iran of this.”
Rushdie, 75, was stabbed Friday while attending an event in western New York. The agent said he suffered liver damage and severed nerves in one arm and one eye. He likely lost his injured eye.
His attacker, Hadi Matar, 24, of New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the assault through his attorney.
The award-winning author for over 30 years has faced death threats because of her novel The verses of Satan. The late Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an Islamic decree, or Fatwa, requiring him to die. An Iranian foundation has offered a bounty of more than $3 million to the author.
Kanaani added that Iran does not “have any information other than what the US media has reported.”
“It is a contradictory attitude for the West to condemn the attacker’s actions and in return glorify the aggressor’s actions against the Muslim faith,” said Kanaani.