Iran says only the author himself and his supporters are to blame for the attack

But in 2019, Twitter suspended Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s account for a tweet that said the fatwa against Rushdie was “solid and irrevocable”.

Rushdie, 75, has lived relatively openly in recent years.

Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.

Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.Recognition:AP

He was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in west New York on the importance of the United States as a safe haven for targeted artists when police say a 24-year-old man rushed onto the stage and stabbed him.

The stabbing suspect, Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault at a court hearing on Saturday, his court-appointed attorney Nathaniel Barone told Reuters.

An initial law enforcement review of Matar’s social media accounts revealed that he sympathized with Shia extremism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to NBC New York. The Guards operate as a powerful faction accusing Washington of running a global extremist campaign.

Ministry spokesman Kanaani said Rushdie had “exposed himself to public outrage by insulting Islamic sanctuaries and crossing the red lines of 1.5 billion Muslims”.

He said Iran had no information about the writer’s alleged assailant other than what appeared in the media.

Persistent Iranian state media celebrated the attack with headlines such as “Satan was blinded,” and some Iranians expressed support for the stabbing online.

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According to Ali Tehfe, the city’s mayor, Matar was the son of a man from Yaroun in southern Lebanon. Matar’s parents immigrated to the United States, where he was born and raised, the mayor said, adding he had no information about their political views.

The Iranian-backed armed group Hezbollah has significant influence in Jaroun, where posters of Khomeini and slain IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a US drone strike in 2020, adorned the walls over the weekend.

A Hezbollah official told Reuters on Saturday that the group had no additional information about the Rushdie attack.

Reuters

https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/iran-says-only-rushdie-himself-and-supporters-to-blame-for-attack-20220815-p5ba2o.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Iran says only the author himself and his supporters are to blame for the attack

Joel McCord

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