Iran says no involvement in Salman Rushdie's murder attempttext_fields
Tehran: Iranian government has denied involvement in the attack on author Salman Rushdie in the US. Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said there is no connection between Iran and the perpetrator.
He added that Rushdie himself is responsible for the attack because his work not only offended Iran but Muslims worldwide. The official further said no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The official in his weekly press conference said: "In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation. 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," reported BBC.
Responding to UK politician Boris Johnson's comment that the attack on Rushdie was an attack on the right to free speech and expression, the Iranian official said freedom of speech did not justify Rushdie insulting religion in his writing.
Indian-born British novelist's 1988 novel 'The Satanic Verses' had upset the Iranian government. The country's leader at the time issued a fatwa against him. The UK government sheltered him for years and the book was banned in many countries including India due to the outrage.
Fatwa is a religious death sentence that has played a significant role in Islam. Late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for the death of anyone involved in the publication of the book which led to the death of Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi.
Iran has been facing increasing criticism from the international community over the death sentence. Khomeini accused Rushdie of insulting Islam, the prophet Mohammed, and the Quran.
The 75-year-old author was speaking on stage in New York when he was stabbed about ten times. The 24-year-old suspect is in custody and has pleaded not guilty. Rushdie is recovering despite stab wounds on his neck.
Iran's state media has spoken in support of the attacker. And Iranian media has been hailing the murder attempt as "divine retribution". Iran's state broadcaster daily Jaam-e Jam highlighted the possibility that Rushdie might lose an eye and said "an eye of Satan has been blinded".
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken slammed the behaviour and called it "despicable".