Iran on Monday denied any involvement in the attack on author Salman Rushdie but blamed him and his supporters for the assault, CNN reports.
Rushdie, an Indian-born British author who was targeted with a fatwah in 1988 over his book “The Satanic Verses,” was stabbed repeatedly during an on-stage attack in western New York on Friday.
Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie said in a statement that the author “will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."
"Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact," his son Zafar said in a statement, adding that the author was taken off a ventilator and has been able to speak “a few words.”
The stabbing suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, was charged with attempted second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon on Saturday.
Matar pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Matar was denied bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
The motive behind the attack is unclear.
The FBI is working with local and international authorities, including "international partners in the United Kingdom to provide additional resources, since the victim is a UK-US dual citizen.”
Iran denies role:
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani on Monday denied the country’s involvement in the attack.
"Regarding the attack on Salman Rushdie, we do not consider anyone other than [Rushdie] and his supporters worth of blame and even condemnation," he said.
"We have not seen anything else about the individual that carried out this act other than what we've seen from American media. We categorically and seriously deny any connection of the assailant with Iran," he added.
Meanwhile, several Iranian newspapers praised the attack.
"A thousand bravos, a hundred God blesses. His hand must be kissed ... Bravo to the warrior and dutiful man who attacked the Apostate and wicked Salman Rushdie. The hand of the warrior must be kissed. He tore the vein of Rushdie's neck," the Kayhan newspaper wrote.