The attempted murder of author Salman Rushdie prompted social media users, including several members of Congress, to voice criticism of the Biden administration’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran in light of the country’s past support of a fatwa against Rushdie’s life.
“Iran has offered a bounty to anyone who assassinates Salman Rushdie,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted on Friday. “Today he was stabbed in America. Why is Biden still negotiating a ‘deal’ with these terrorists in Tehran?”
Rushdie was allegedly stabbed multiple times by 24-year-old Hadi Matar before a speech in Chautauqua, New York on Friday in an attack that severely injured the 75-year-old author leaving him unable to speak and likely to lose an eye.
The attack comes more than 30 years after Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for his death in response to Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” causing Rushdie to require round the clock security at various points in his life.
Several others joined Rubio in calling out the Biden administration in the aftermath of the attack for working with the Iranian government on a nuclear deal.
“Iran’s leaders have been calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie for decades,” Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted. “We know they’re trying to assassinate American officials today. Biden needs to immediately end negotiations with this terrorist regime.”
“This White House statement on Salman Rushdie is appalling,” author Gary Weiss said in response to the White House’s reaction to the attack. “No mention is made of Iran putting a price on his head. Or that the fatwa was reaffirmed by the ayatollah in 2005 and in 2019. Is Joe Biden is THAT anxious to move ahead with the lousy JCPOA?”
“The silence of @POTUS in response to the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie looks increasingly the result of one thing: A desperation to return to the Iran deal,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz tweeted. “American desperation increases regime aggression. It always has.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Iran’s government has seemingly distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree over the years but a semi-official Iranian religious foundation has voiced support for a bounty on Rushdie that exceeded $3 million.
Following the stabbing, Iran state media condemned Rushdie as an “apostate” who was responsible for “blasphemous” writings.
Additionally, Iranian news outlets celebrated news of the attack as the hospitalized author fought for his life on a ventilator.
A top Iranian official said that Tehran may be willing to accept a new proposal by the European Union to reach a nuclear deal if its demands are met, reports said Friday.
Tehran has previously demanded assurances from the U.S. that no future president could renege on the deal after former President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and slapped Iran with stiff sanctions.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.