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Iran’s Regime Behind the Attack on Salman Rushdie

On Thursday, Salman Rushdie, ‌the British novelist, was attacked and stabbed several times by a knife, totting Islamist extremists supporting the Iranian regime (in his Twitter timeline) in upstate New York. The police announced the attacker’s identity, but details have not been released yet. Regardless of who the attacker is and whether he acted alone or this attack was organized, the instigator and the actual party responsible for this reprehensible attack was the Iranian regime and its supreme leader. The New York attacker just implemented the decree of Iran’s regime supreme leader and was encouraged by the regime’s offer of a hefty worldly reward and a place in “heaven.”

The decree in question to kill Rushdie was issued in February 1989 by then Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader, and other leaders of the regime had always vowed to implement this anti-Islamic fatwa in the past 34 years and set millions of dollars reward for this terrorist act.

On February 14, 1993, Khamenei said: “Imam (Khomeini) shot an arrow towards this man who is a liar and a slanderer. His arrow has left the bow, and the targeting is accurate. Sooner or later, this arrow will hit the target. Indeed, his (death) sentence must be implemented, and it will be.”

According to the state-run News agency, Mizan, in response to a question on October 22, 2015, inquiring, “Is the apostasy fatwa for Salman Rushdie, an apostate and a liar, valid or not? What is the duty of Muslims in this case?” Khamenei replied, “The ruling is the same as Imam Khomeini (may God bless him and grant him peace) stated.”

Hassan Sanei, Khamenei’s representative and head of the 15 Khordad Foundation, set a reward of 3.3 million dollars for the “execution of Salman Rushdie.”

The fatwa in question has been one of the sharpest signs of the Iranian regime’s state sponsor of terrorism, and the regime is not shy away from boosting the terrorist act in its official media. A glance at the state-run media a day after the attack speaks volumes.

The large banner in Friday Prayer in Tehran read that the Execution verdict of Salman Rushdie must be implemented, and it will be carried out.

In a detailed piece on August 12, 2022, the state-run Fars news agency wrote, “On Tuesday, February 15, a fatwa was issued by Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on him, about Salman Rushdie’s apostasy and the need for his elimination…

“Ayatollah Khamenei, the president at the time, during a radio interview welcoming Imam’s fatwa, … said: This is a ruling that every Islamic jurist should give the same ruling if they want to act according to Islamic rulings. This fatwa is definitive. That is, the person who commits such a mistake is certainly condemned to death, and it is obligatory to eliminate him from the world… 

“The 15 Khordad Foundation also announced that it has set a million dollars as a reward for the assassination of Salman Rushdie. Years later, Hassan Sanei, the head of the foundation, said I directly offered the reward for Salman Rushdie’s murder to the Imam, and the Imam prayed.” 

The Iranian resistance in a statement strongly condemned the attack that “took place at the instigation of Khomeini’s fatwa.”

“The vicious murder attempt on Salman Rushdie with the Khomeini/Khamenei fatwa is the clear brutality of the anti-Islamic mullahs’ regime. Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Rouhani approved the fatwa. Their officials, such as Mohajerani, encourage violence/terrorism by promoting the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran must be banished from the United Nations, and its operatives put on trial and expelled.” Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, tweeted.

In the past 34 years, the Iranian resistance has repeatedly called for international action against this fatwa and the Iranian regime’s terrorism.

In January 2015, at a conference at the Council of Europe, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of NCRI, said:

“The massacre of journalists at their office desks, shooting defenseless civilians, executing the injured, taking hostages, terrorizing ordinary citizens, and justifying the commission of crimes against humanity under the banner of Islam have all wounded the conscience of the world. The spirit of Islam rejects these actions with utmost repugnance. This kind of terrorism and barbarism was first initiated several years ago by Khomeini’s fatwa to kill the writer, Salman Rushdi, and publishers and translators of his book.”

On February 17, 1989, after Khomeini issued the fatwa, Mr. Masoud Rajavi, leader of the Iranian resistance in a statement said:

“Khomeini’s fatwa (on the killing of Salman Rushdie) is export of terrorism at the international level. Khomeini himself is the biggest enemy of Islam in contemporary history.

“Khomeini is the worst enemy of Islam, the Quran, and the Prophet. Khomeini deserves to be punished more than any other criminal in this world for his criminal and anti-Islamic actions.

“When Khomeini issues death sentence to the nationals of other countries, one can clearly understand what he has done to the people and children of Iran in its prisons in Iran.

“Today, it is clear to everyone that the expecting moderation or transformation of this regime are false and naiveté.”

Today’s attack on Salman Rushdie and other terrorist acts of the Iranian regime, like the plot to assassinate Ambassador John Bolton indicates that Western and US policy of appeasing and negotiating with this outlaw and terrorist sponsoring regime has failed. The regime is weak and fragile in the face of domestic uprisings and insecure in trying to maintain its social base which is melting away, and so it acts continuously more violently and dangerously on the international scale to boost the morale of its forces with terrorist acts.

Due to the appeasement policy, the mullahs are confident that these acts will not result in any serious consequences for them.  For too long, the West has turned a blind eye to the regime’s violation of human rights at home and its terrorism abroad.

The West needs to understand that the religious fascist regime in Iran will never back down in the face of compromise, submission, and concessions; it will only embolden it, as it has in the past four decades. This regime only understands one language, and that is firmness. Therefore, if Europe and the US want the Iranian regime to hear their message, they must adopt a firm policy toward the mullahs.