US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday announced new sanctions against the “15 Khordad Foundation” over the attack on author Salman Rushdie, after the group put up a multi-million dollar bounty before the August stabbing.
“In response to attack on author Salman Rushdie, US is naming Iran’s ’15 Khordad Foundation’. Prior to the attack, this entity had issued and increased a bounty on Rushdie’s life in support of Ruhollah Khomeini’s order calling for Ayatollah Rushdie’s death. Today we are designated for providing financial support to an act of terrorism,” said Blinken.
After the release of Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, the then Iranian leader issued a fatwa calling for the death of the author, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and “15 The Khordad Foundation awarded Rushdie an award for Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa, and later, in 2012, increased the award.” , said Blinken.
Blinken also noted that the fatwa was “confirmed” by Iran’s current supreme leader in 2017, and then republished in 2022 by Iran’s state-controlled media.
“The evil fatwa was to incite terrorism and violence, to bring about the death of Rushdie and his associates and to intimidate others. The United States condemns such promotion and the attack on Rushdie in the strongest possible terms, as a flagrant attack on freedom of expression and as an act of terrorism. Today’s action is another clear sign that we will not stand still,” said Blinken.
Rushdie lost the sight in one eye and one of his hands was “incapacitated” after the August stabbing attack, according to an interview his agent gave to a Spanish newspaper.
Rushdie, 75, underwent emergency surgery after being stabbed multiple times before an August 12 lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.
Staff and guests then came on stage and detained the suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, before he was taken into custody by a state trooper assigned to the incident, according to New York State Police. .
Matar has pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault.