After three days of silence, Iran on Monday denied any involvement in the attack perpetrated in the United States against Salman Rushdie, blaming the author of the "Satanic Verses", 33 years after the fatwa of the Ayatollah Khomeini sentencing him to death.
"We categorically deny" any link between the aggressor and Iran, and "no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic", affirmed Nasser Kanani, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his conference of weekly press.
This is Tehran's first official reaction to Friday's attack on the 75-year-old British and American writer on the dais of an amphitheater at a cultural center in Chautauqua, in the northwest. of New York State.
"In this attack, only Salman Rushdie and his supporters deserve to be blamed and even condemned," said the Iranian spokesman.
US denounces incitement to violence
"By insulting the sacred principles of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than one and a half billion Muslims and all followers of divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people ", he added.
Asked about it on Monday, the spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, "condemned" the "abject, disgusting" remarks.
“This language amounts to incitement to violence,” he said, stressing that “it is no secret that the Iranian regime has been central in threatening his life for years now.”
Hospitalized for serious injuries after the attack, Salman Rushdie is doing a little better according to his relatives.
He is no longer on life support and "the road to recovery has begun", welcomed his agent Andrew Wylie in a press release sent to the Washington Post.
Iran struggles to condemn
Salman Rushdie, born in 1947 in India into a family of non-practicing Muslim intellectuals, provoked anger in part of the Muslim world with the publication in 1988 of "Satanic Verses", a novel judged by the most rigorous as blasphemous to the regard to the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad.
The founder of the Islamic Republic issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, who lived for years under police protection.
Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the writer was never lifted and many of his translators came under attack.
The spokesperson for Iranian Foreign Affairs deemed it "completely contradictory" to "condemn on the one hand the action of the aggressor and absolve the action of the one who insults sacred and Islamic things".
Attacker pleads not guilty
The alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old American of Lebanese origin, was charged with "attempted murder and assault".
He pleaded "not guilty" by the voice of his lawyer.
His mother told the Daily Mail website that he had returned "changed" and more religious from a 2018 trip to Lebanon.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday judged "despicable" the way Iranian state media reacted after the attack on the intellectual.
The ultra-conservative daily Kayhan praised the alleged assailant as a "brave and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and vicious Salman Rushdie".
Javan, another ultra-conservative newspaper, wrote that it was a plot by the United States which “probably wanted to spread Islamophobia in the world”.
Salman Rushdie stabbed: Suspect pleads not guilty, writer 'on the road to recovery'
Salman Rushdie stabbed: Three questions to understand the writer's assault in New York