A prime ministerial candidate says the UK must sanction Iran over the attack on Salman Rushdie as police believe the perpetrator was sympathetic to Shiite extremism and IRGC.
Conservative hopeful Rishi Sunak said on Saturday that Britain should designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, warning that the stabbing should be a “wake-up call for the West”.
The conservative politician noted that the response to the stabbing by Iranian politicians and senior figures strengthens the case for proscribing Tehran’s elite military unit. He also suggested that the Vienna talks to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran may have reached “a dead end”.
Hadi Matar, the pro-Iran fanatic that stabbed the author at an event in New York state on Friday, was charged with attempted murder on Saturday.
A preliminary investigation by police, including of the 24-year-old’s social media accounts, suggested he was sympathetic to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, as his Facebook account featured pictures of Qasem Soleimani, the IRGC general who was killed in a US drone strike in 2020, and Iran’s Supreme Leader. He was in possession of a fake driving license that had the surname of a Hezbollah leader allied to Soleimani.
Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him over his novel "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed in the neck and torso on stage at a lecture on Friday. He has been taken off a ventilator and is now able to talk.
Iran’s Kayhan daily linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader said “a thousand bravos” to the man who attacked Salman Rushdie, implying that his throat should have been cut.