Iranian lawmaker says attack on Rushdie was a ‘warning’ for Qassem Soleimani’s ‘killers’
The attack on novelist Salman Rushdie was a “warning” to the “killers” of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian lawmaker said on Saturday.
Malek Shariati, who represents several constituencies in Tehran province in Iran’s parliament, wrote on Twitter that the attack on Rushdie, whether or not Iran was directly involved in it, was a “warning to the assassins of martyr Soleimani”.
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“If Iran was directly involved, it proves the power of Islamic Iran. If the attack was carried out by a Muslim acting independently of Iran, it shows that the revolution was exported to the heart of the enemy. If the US and UK were behind this, it serves as a lesson to those who trust the West,” Shariati wrote on Twitter.
“In all cases, [the attack] is a warning to the killers of martyr Soleimani,” he added.
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, ordered by President Donald Trump. He led the Al-Quds Force, the foreign branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The United States on Wednesday accused an IRGC member of plotting to assassinate John Bolton, a fierce opponent of the Iranian regime who served as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.
The murder plot was “likely” in retaliation for Soleimani’s murder, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
Iran vs. Rushdie
Rushdie, who has lived with a bounty on his head since the late 1980s, was stabbed in the neck and chest on Friday as he prepared to speak at an event in western New York. Andrew Wylie, Rushdie’s agent, said the author “will probably lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.
Hadi Matar, the suspect in the attack, has been charged with attempted murder and is being held without bond, the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office announced Saturday.
A preliminary review of Matar’s social media accounts showed he had sympathies with “Shia extremism” and the IRGC, NBC News reported Friday, citing a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the incident. ‘investigation.
Rushdie has long faced death threats for his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses,” published in 1988.
In 1989, Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader at the time, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie and anyone involved in publishing the book for blasphemy.
Iranian organizations, including some affiliated with the government, collected a multi-million dollar bounty for Rushdie’s murder. Khomeini’s successor as supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has reaffirmed the fatwa several times, most recently in 2019 via his Twitter account.
IRGC-affiliated Iranian news agency Fars and other outlets donated money in 2016 to raise the bounty by $600,000. Fars called Rushdie an apostate who “insulted the prophet” in his report on Friday’s attack.
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