Iran denies any links to Rushdie's attacker

British writer Salman Rushdie

© APA | British writer Salman Rushdie

# 15 August 2022 13:32 (UTC +04:00)

Iran “categorically” denied on Monday (Aug 15) any link with the attacker who stabbed British writer Salman Rushdie, APA reports citing the Strait Times.

Instead, Teheran blamed the writer himself for the incident.

“We categorically deny” any link with the attack, and “no one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani in Teheran’s first official reaction to last Friday’s stabbing.

“In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation,” he said at his weekly press conference in Teheran.

“By insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than 1½ billion Muslims and all followers of the divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people.”

Mr. Rushdie, 75after, was left on a ventilator with multiple stab wounds he was attacked at a literary event last Friday in western New York state.

The suspected assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey, was wrestled to the ground by staff and other audience members before being taken into police custody.

He was later arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges.

Writers and politicians around the world have condemned the attack.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said Iranian state media had “gloated” about the attack, adding that “this is despicable”.