Iran responded for the first time following the assault on author Salman Rushdie in US’ New York state last week. The Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said that it is Salman Rushdie and his supporters who deserve the blame and the accusations.
Tehran also denied that it was involved in the assault on the author.
“We, in the incident of the attack on Salman Rushdie in the US, do not consider that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters. Nobody has the right to accuse Iran in this regard,” Nasser Kanaani was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
These are the first comments made by the Iranian government to the public after assailant Hadi Matar assaulted and stabbed the Booker Prize winning author. Rushdie sustained injuries to his liver, nerves in one of his arms and one of his eyes.
Rushdie, the author of famous novels Midnight’s Children and the Satanic Verses, was attending an event at western New York’s Chautauqua Institution.
Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 issued a fatwa demanding the death of the author. Iran claimed that the characters in his book Satanic Verses were an insult to Muslims and Prophet Mohammad.
Meanwhile, Andrew Wylie, Salman Rushdie’s agent, told news agencies that the author is on his road to recovery. Rushdie was rushed to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, after being attacked.
The author was initially on ventilator support following the attack but he was removed from the ventilator support.
His agent said that Rushdie was talking and joking and even said he thought the attack was a ‘prank’. His son Zafar Rushdie also thanked members of the audience for springing to action when the attacker, Hadi Matar, rushed to attack the author and another person who was introducing Rushdie minutes after the event started.
Hadi Matar, a resident of New Jersey, who had sympathies for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges on Saturday in front of the court.
Iranian state-run newspapers Iran Daily and Kahyaan congratulated the killer as well saying that .
(with inputs from Associated Press)