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U.S. sanctions Iran-based foundation for bounty on author Salman Rushdie

The United States on Friday sanctioned the Iran-based 15 Khordad Foundation for its bounty on the life of author Salman Rushdie. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The United States on Friday sanctioned the Iran-based 15 Khordad Foundation for its bounty on the life of author Salman Rushdie. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The United States on Friday sanctioned an Iran-based foundation that has issued a multi-million-dollar bounty for killing author Salman Rushdie.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the 15 Khordad Foundation offered a bounty of millions of dollars to anybody willing to kill Rushdie since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini pronounced a death sentence on Rushdie for his writings.

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"The United States will not waver in its determination to stand up to threats posed by Iranian authorities against the universal rights of freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of the press," said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson in a statement.

Rushdie was attacked Aug. 12, sustaining serious stabbing wounds. On Tuesday Rushdie's agent said the author lost sight in one eye and one hand is incapacitated from the vicious attack.

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He suffered 15 more wounds in his chest and torso.

"This act of violence, which has been praised by the Iranian regime, is appalling, Nelson said. "We all hope for Salman Rushdie's speedy recovery following the attack on his life."

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The Treasury Department said the 15 Khordad Foundation is "a so-called charitable foundation subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei."

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It added that the call for Rushdie's killing has led to the death and injury of several people, including the translator of Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses.

A State Department statement Friday said the sanctions against the 15 Khordad Foundation are for financially backing the fatwa death sentence on Rushdie.

"Several of Rushdie's translators and business associates involved with the publication of The Satanic Verses in several countries have been killed or severely injured as a result of this incitement, as have dozens of innocent civilians," the State Department said. "The infamous fatwa was intended to incite terrorism and violence, bring about the death of Rushdie and his associates, and intimidate others. The United States condemns such incitement and the attack on Rushdie in the strongest terms as a blatant assault on freedom of speech and an act of terrorism."

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