Iran stated on Monday, in its first response since the attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie, that the writer and his fans were responsible for the attack.
In a weekly press briefing in Tehran, Nasser Kanaani, the spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, denied any connection between Iran and the Rushdie attack.
He stated that “no one has the right” to accuse Iran of arranging the attack on Salman Rushdie. The latter is currently recuperating in a hospital after being stabbed on stage at a New York event and sustaining grave injuries.
The threat against the 75-year-old author stems from his 1988 work “The Satanic Verses”, which caused then-Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a religious decree calling for his execution.
The foreign ministry spokesperson stated that all they know about the attacker, a citizen of New Jersey, is what they “heard in the American media.”
Rushdie “broke the red line of 1.5 billion Muslims” and other divine religions by committing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad, he added.
“Freedom of speech does not justify disrespecting celestial religions and their tenets,” Kanaani stated.