US slams Iranian coverage of Rushdie attack

The US has slammed the hardline Iranian media coverage of Salman Rushdie’s recent stabbing, calling it “despicable.”

The recent attack on author Salman Rushdie over the weekend has prompted The US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken to call out hardline Iranian media, for their gloating coverage of the attack, suggesting that it was the very public $3 million bounty placed upon Salman Rushdie, by a semi-official Iranian foundation, that is to blame.

Stating, “Specifically, Iranian state institutions have incited violence against Rushdie for generations, and state-affiliated media recently gloated about the attempt on his life. This is despicable.” 

Antony J. Blinken
Antony J. Blinken Credit: Politico

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani has responded to the US finger-pointing, by denying that Tehran was involved in any way in the assault on the author, although he did go on to say the stabbing was justified. 

“Regarding the attack against Salman Rushdie in [the United States of] America, we don’t consider anyone deserving reproach, blame or even condemnation, except for (Mr Rushdie) himself and his supporters. In this regard, no-one can blame the Islamic Republic of Iran. We believe that the insults made and the support he received was an insult against followers of all religions.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani
Nasser Kanaani Credit: Morning Star

Several extremist Iranian newspapers have praised 24-year-old Hadi Matar, who attacked and seriously wounded author Salman Rushdie. The hardline newspaper, Kayhan wrote: “A thousand bravos … to the brave and dutiful person who attacked the apostate and evil Salman Rushdie in New York. The hand of the man who tore the neck of God’s enemy must be kissed”.

Rushdie’s agent, Andre Wylie has shared that the author has suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and eye: “He’s off the ventilator, so the road to recovery has begun,” said Wylie in a statement on Sunday. “It will be long; the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction.”

His assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the attack.