Sir Salman Rushdie stabbed himself, says the Iranian Foreign Ministry Foreign News

Sir Salman Rushdie carried out a stabbing attack that left him with “life-changing” injuries to himself, Iran has said.

The Foreign Office said on Monday that “Salman Rushdie and his supporters are to blame for what happened to him”.

Its spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, said: “Freedom of expression does not justify Salman Rushdie’s insults to religion and violations of its sanctities.”

Iran has no other information about Sir Salman’s attacker apart from what has appeared in the media, Kanaani said.

The author, 75, was attacked on stage before giving an address in New York state on Friday. He was taken to hospital where he was operated on for hours taken off ventilator on Saturday.

The suspect, Hadi Matar, 24, has denied attempted murder.

Sir Salman spent almost a decade in hiding after the publication in 1988 of his work The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims consider blasphemous.

A fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill him was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader, a year later.

The religious leader never read Sir Salman’s book, it was reported.

Khomeini’s successor later said in 1989 that the fatwa had been fired as a “bullet” that “sooner or later would hit the target”.

Although such edicts can be rescinded, Ayatollah Khamenei confirmed that they were still in effect as recently as 2017.

Read more:
The world reacts to the stabbing of Rushdie
What do we know about the suspect?
Why is Salman Rushdie so controversial?

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“A man with a pen will not be silenced by a man with a knife”

“Critical condition”, but on ventilator

Sir Salman’s son, Zafar Rushdie, said his father remained in a “critical condition” but was taken off the ventilator on Saturday.

“Although his life-changing injuries are serious, his usual cheeky and defiant sense of humor remains intact,” he said.

Sir Salman was stabbed about 12 times, including in the face and neck, as he was introduced at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, according to local officials

One stab punctured his eye and another punctured his liver, the Chautauqua County district attorney’s office said.

He was also stabbed elsewhere in the stomach and chest.

Full statement by Zafar Rushdie

Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in a critical condition in hospital and is receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment.

We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and extra oxygen and that he was able to say a few words.

Although his life-changing injuries are serious, his usual cheeky and defiant sense of humor remains intact.

We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely jumped to his defense and provided first aid along with the police and doctors who attended to him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world.

We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family gathers at his bedside to support and help him through this time.

In an update on his condition on Sunday, Sir Salman’s literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said: “The road to recovery has begun.

“It will be a long time, the injuries are serious, but his condition is moving in the right direction.”

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