UK Prime Minister hopeful and Conservative party leadership contender Rishi Sunak has called for sanctions on Iran over the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie in the US.
Rushdie, who faced death threats over his book ‘The Satanic Verses’, was stabbed on stage in Western New York state on Friday. A number of world leaders including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the incident.
“If the attack on Salman Rushdie is an operation by Iran, it shows our power. …If the attacker has done it under the influence of Iran, it proves the success of our Islamic revolution,” Rishi was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper.
Rushdie, 75, hogged the limelight with his novel ‘Midnight’s Children’ in 1981. The India-born author won Booker Prize for the novel which was also adapted for the stage.
But his 1988 book ‘The Satanic Verses’ led to a fatwa, a religious decree, by the then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The threat forced him into hiding for several years.
While pointing to the serious situation in Iran, Sunak warned about the potential futility of attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
He said a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to our ally Israel, and indeed imperil the whole of Europe with ballistic missile capability.
“We urgently need a new, strengthened deal and much tougher sanctions, and if we can’t get results then we have to start asking whether the JCPOA is at a dead end. The brutal stabbing of Salman Rushdie should be a wake-up call for the West, and Iran’s reaction to the attack strengthens the case for proscribing the IRGC.”
On Saturday, Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and will be able to talk, a day after he was stabbed in western New York State during a lecture.
Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed that Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and could be able to talk, without giving further details, according to The Washington Post.
Hadi Matar, who is suspected of stabbing Rushdie, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second degree and other charges in a New York court.
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