UK News: Salman Rushdie attack leads to calls to re-evaluate US and UK relations with Iran

Salman Rushdie stabbed: "Nothing justifies a fatwa", is indignant "Charlie Hebdo"

 Salman Rushdie stabbed: "The freedom to think, to think and to express has no value for God and his servants", writes Riss, Director of publication of the newspaper, after the attack of which the writer in the United States was the victim. © supplied by Franceinfo "Nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence", indignant the editorial staff of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Saturday August 13, after the attack on the British writer Salman Rushdie .

The attack on Sir Salman Rushdie has led to calls in the US and UK to re-evaluate sanctions against Iran, in a move that could complicate efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Shahab-3 and Khaibar-buster missiles at a rally in Tehran ths year (Photo: Sobhan Farajvan/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty) © Provided by The i Iranian Shahab-3 and Khaibar-buster missiles at a rally in Tehran ths year (Photo: Sobhan Farajvan/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty)

Rushdie is recoving in hospital after being stabbed at an event in New York this week. His family said he had “life-changing injuries” but his “usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact”.

The attack came more than three decades after Iran’s supreme leader called for the author to be killed over his novel, The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims consider to be blasphemous.

"Religious obscurantism struck us": Éric Naulleau reacts to the attack on Salman Rushdie

 © Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP The Iranian writer Salman Rushdie was the victim of a knife attack at a conference. In Europe evening, the writer and journalist Éric Naulleau returned to this assault. He explained that "Salman Rushdie was despite himself a political issue and a geopolitical issue". Horror struck on Friday in New York. British writer Salman Rushdie was the victim of a knife attack at a conference .

Iran’s leadership has not yet commented on the assault, but it has been openly praised by media in Iran.

Some leading figures in the US and UK have suggested the attack could force a re-evaluation of sanctions against Iran. Here’s what has been said and what it could mean.

What has been said?

Iran is currently subject to financial and economic sanctions which heavily restrict trade in goods, arms, and the financial and transport sectors in a bid to force the country to comply with UN obligations and abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

Conservative leadership contender Rishi Sunak has suggested that the attack could see an end to the Iran nuclear deal and the introduction of possible new sanctions against Iran.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Sunak said Iran could face tougher sanctions and that the UK should consider designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organisation.

Salman Rushdie must obtain the Nobel of Literature, according to Bernard-Henri Lévy

 Salman Rushdie must obtain the Nobel of Literature, according to Bernard-Henri Lévy © Joel Saget / AFP "I do not imagine another writer", writes Bernard-Henri Lévy. The philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, believes that Salman Rushdie, hospitalized in serious condition after being stabbed in the United States on Friday, must obtain the Nobel Prize for Literature.

“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,” he told the paper.

Discussing talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, he added: “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 [the nuclear deal] is at a dead end.”

In the US, Republican senator Marco Rubio questioned why the Biden administration was pushing on with the nuclear deal in the wake of the attack on the writer.

“Iran has offered a bounty to anyone who assassinates Salman Rushdie. Today he was stabbed in America,” he wrote. “Why is Biden still negotiating a ‘deal’ with these terrorists in Tehran?”

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted: “Iran’s leaders have been calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie for decades. We know they’re trying to assassinate American officials today. Biden needs to immediately end negotiations with this terrorist regime.”

The assailant of Rushdie pleads non-guilty, the writer always hospitalized

 The assailant of Rushdie pleads non-guilty, the writer always hospitalized Personalite-Salman-Rushdie: the assailant of Rushdie not guilty, the writer always hospitalized © Reuters/Dylan Martinez The Assatillant of Rushdie Plaid Non -guilty, the writer still hospitalized by Kanishka Singh and Nathan Layne (Reuters) - the author of Indian origin Salman Rushdie was still hospitalized after being stabbed on Friday during a conference organized by the Chautaa Institution in the New York State.

However, neither Joe Biden nor Boris Johnson mentioned the fatwa declared by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, or any repercussions for the country. Iran’s government has also not commented on the attack.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office would only confirm it was in “contact with the US authorities following an attack on a British dual-national in New York State.”

How is Iran linked to the attack on Sir Salman?

In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for Sir Salman to be killed over his depiction of Islam in the book.

For nearly a decade afterwards, Rushdie remained in hiding in London under a British government protection programme.

The Iranian government later distanced itself from the fatwa, and Rushdie gradually returned to public life. But the fatwa has never been rescinded, and the bounty for killing him was increased as recently as 2016.

Three years ago, Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted that the fatwa was “solid and irrevocable”.

Mr Sunak has suggested that the stabbing of Rushdie should be seen as a “wake-up call for the West”.

Assault by Salman Rushdie: Author J. K. Rowling said he was threatened after expressed his support for the writer

 Assault by Salman Rushdie: Author J. K. Rowling said he was threatened after expressed his support for the writer The author of the Harry Potter saga would have been threatened with death on Twitter after reacting to the attack by Salman Rushdie. Scottish police have opened an investigation. © provided by Franceinfo British police said on Sunday investigate an alleged threat including the author of the Harry Potter saga, J. K. Rowling, says he was the target on Twitter after the attack on Salman Rushdie in the United States. J.K.

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a 2015 agreement between Iran, the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and US, to dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons programme in return to relief from international sanctions.

Under the 2015 agreement, Iran would curb its disputed uranium enrichment programme, a possible pathway to nuclear weapons, in return for relief from US, EU and UN sanctions. Tehran says it wants nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.

The deal, which aimed to reduce the likelihood of conflict in the Middle East and nuclear war around the world, stalled in 2018 after then US president Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement. The withdrawal led to Iran restarting some of its nuclear operations, including stockpiling uranium.

However, in 2021, the prospects of a revival began to look brighter, with new President Joe Biden saying the US would return to the deal if Iran began to comply again with its arrangements.

In March this year, after 11 months of stop-start talks, Western officials announced that very few issues were left to be resolved. A spokesperson for the US State Department said at the time that the countries were “close to a possible deal”.

However that was later thrown into disarray, largely over Iran’s insistence that Washington remove the IRGC from the US’s Foreign Terrorist Organisations list.

Travel to Lebanon, admirer of Khomeyni: the very religious profile of the aggressor of Salman Rushdie

 Travel to Lebanon, admirer of Khomeyni: the very religious profile of the aggressor of Salman Rushdie © Gene J. Puskar/AP/SIPA HADI MATAR during his indictment for aggression and attempted murder. We know a little more about the aggressor of Salman Rushdie, stabbed several times during a conference in New York State on August 12. Hadi Matar, the writer's attacker, had returned "changed" to a trip to Lebanon in 2018. The 24 -year -old went to visit his father, from Yaroun, in the south of the country.

The prospect of a renewed deal appeared close again on Friday, when Iran’s state news agency IRNA quoted an Iranian diplomat saying an EU proposal to revive the deal “can be acceptable if it provides assurances” on Tehran’s key demands.

Last week, the EU said it had put forward a final text following four days of talks and 15 months of negotiations. A senior EU official said they expected a decision in “very, very few weeks”.

However whether there is a deal remains to be seen. Iran has sought to obtain guarantees that no future US president would renege on the deal if it were revived, as Mr Trump did in 2018, and restoree harsh sanctions on Iran.

Mr Biden cannot provide such ironclad assurances because the deal is a political understanding rather than a legally binding treaty.

The release of British hostages including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, thought to be as a result of the payment of a decades old debt to Iran, also indicated a partial thaw in relations.

What is the IRGC?

The IRGC is an elite branch of Iran’s military and intelligence forces, and wields huge power in Iranian politics and society.

It was founded in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution and is tasked with protecting the nation’s political system as an Islamic republic. However, since then it has hugely expanded its social, political, military and economic role.

It is considered a terror organisation in the US. Last week, a member of the IRGC was charged with plotting to murder a former US national security adviser.

Shahram Poursafi was accused of attempting to organise the killing John Bolton, which the US Department of Justice said was likely to have been in retaliation for the killing of IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in January 2020.

Mr Sunak suggested that the attack on Rushdie supported the case for the IRGC to be added to the UK’s list of proscribed terror organisations.

If it was added to the UK list, this would be done at the discretion of the Home Secretary and make it a criminal offence to belong to, support, assist or wear flags or clothing related to that group.

Iranian officials want to see the US lift the IRGC’s terror designation before Tehran returns to the nuclear deal, so the UK adding it to its own terror list could further complicate matters.

Salman Rushdie: Man facing US court accused of stabbing author .
Hadi Matar will appear at Chautauqua County Court in New York state.A grand jury has indicted Hadi Matar, who allegedly attacked 75-year-old Sir Salman as the renowned author prepared to give a talk in western New York state on August 12.

See also