In Iran’s first public comment to the incident, a foreign ministry spokesperson declared on Monday that Salman Rushdie and his fans were to fault for the author’s potentially fatal stabbing.
Up until today, the Iranian government had kept quiet about the incident, but today a government spokesman “totally refuted” that Iran was responsible for the stabbing.
Regarding the attack on Salman Rushdie, we believe that only he and his supporters are deserving of criticism, criticism, and denunciation.
In this sense, nobody has the right to blame Iran, Nasser Kanaani declared in a monday morning press conference that was broadcast live on television.
The administration, according to Mr. Kanaani, only knows what has been reported in the media about the incident.
The official from the administration did, however, caution that exercising one’s right to free expression does not excuse the kind of religious slurs that were taken directly from Mr. Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, the book that led Iran’s former supreme leader to issue a fatwa against him in the 1980s.
Alan Yentob, Mr. Rushdie’s longtime friend and admirer, said the incident served as a “timely reminder” of the value of free speech.
Old friend and former TV producer Alan Yentob said to the BBC on Monday, “I know Salman very, very well. I was with him on the day of the fatwa and those years in which he couldn’t live without having those people with him in his home, in his house, 24/7.”
In response to the attack, he said, “I’m hoping that won’t have to happen again, but we’ll see.”
In his 2012 autobiography Joseph Anton, Mr. Rushdie recalled how Alan Yentob assisted him in escaping the press in a BBC car mere hours after the fatwa – and death threats – were declared against him by Ayatollah Khomeini.
Hadi Matar, a suspect aged 24, has denied attempting murder.
Although Mr. Rushdie’s ventilator was turned off on Saturday, according to his son Zafar Rushdie, he is still in a “serious state.”
The long road to recovery has started; the injuries are significant, but his condition is improving, according to his agent Andrew Wylie, who spoke on Sunday.
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