Iran reacts after the knife attack on Salman Rushdie in New York
Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, denied that Tehran was involved in Friday's attack on author Salman Rushdie, but he nevertheless justified the stabbing in his comments.
His comments come more than two days after the attack on the author in New York. The writer is now on the road to recovery, according to his agent.
"Regarding the attack against Salman Rushdie in America, we do not consider anyone deserving of rebuke, blame or even punishment except for himself (Rushdie) and his supporters," Kanaani said.
"In this regard, no one can blame the Islamic Republic of Iran. We believe that the insults made and the support he received was an insult against followers of all religions."
Rushdie, 75, was stabbed on Friday while attending an event in western New York.
"Salman Rushdie exposed himself to popular anger and rage by insulting the sanctity of Islam and crossing the red lines of over 1.5 billion Muslims and also the red lines of followers of all divine religions," Kanaani said.
Rushdie has faced death threats for more than 30 years for The Satanic Verses.
Iran's late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, calling for his death. A semi-official Iranian foundation had placed a reward of over $3 million for the author.