TEHRAN: The leader of an Iranian political and religious foundation which has put a price on the head of British writer Salman Rushdie, said Sunday that the fatwa against him would `definitely be carried out’. In a statement published in the daily Jomhuri-Eslami, Ayatollah Hassan Sanei, president of the 15-Khordad Foundation, upheld the `validity’ of the religious decree issued on February 14 1989 by Iran’s late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini `sentenced’ Rushdie to death, saying he was guilty of blasphemy against Islam in his book `The Satanic Verses’. The 15-Khordad Foundation has offered a reward of 2.8 million dollars for Rushdie’s murder. “Iran is serious in defending this historic fatwa and wants to see it applied,” Sanei said, stressing that “the idea of Rushdie’s annihilation is more alive than ever.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards force said on Saturday that the death sentence is irrevocable. The statement, carried by the IRNA news agency, saidKhomeini’s verdict was `based on Islam’ and could not be retracted.
“The apostate Salman Rushdie will eventually be burnt in the fire of Moslems’ wrath,” the elite force said. The statement blasted “certain western countries and false advocates of freedom of thought” for a two-year “disinformation campaign to make world people and Moslems believe that Iran has backed down.” The Revolutionary Guards issue a statement every year on the anniversary of the fatwa, confirming its validity.