US slams Iran for attack on Salman Rushdie, calls to abandon “extraneous” demands in nuclear talks

16 August, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

Iran conservative media applaud Salman Rushdie attacker World

The US condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie as “despicable, nasty” on Monday (local time) and urged Iran to drop “extraneous” demands in nuclear negotiations. In a media b...

The US condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie as “despicable, nasty” on Monday (local time) and urged Iran to drop “extraneous” demands in nuclear negotiations.

In a media briefing, Ned Price, spokesperson of the US Department of State said, “It’s despicable; it’s disgusting. We condemn it.”

The Secretary yesterday in his statement, while noting that the investigation is ongoing, made the point that Salman Rushdie has been under threat for decades now. And it is no secret that the Iranian regime has been central to the threats against his life over the course of years now. “We have heard Iranian officials seek to incite to violence over the years – of course, with the initial fatwah, but even more recently with the gloating that has taken place in the aftermath of this attack on his life. This is something that is absolutely outrageous, it’s despicable, and we want it to be very clear that it is not something that we can tolerate.”

He also emphasised Salman Rushdie’s life, pointing out that, in addition to being a literary giant, Rushdie has defended and, in some ways, embodied the values that we work to uphold and advance globally, such as freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, and that the attack on his life was in some ways an attack on those very principles.

Price went on to refute the assertions made by the Iranian foreign ministry that they had nothing to do with the incident.

“The number of statements that emanate from Iran towards the entire country of Israel, towards the Jewish people, towards any number of individuals, groups that the Iranian regime, for whatever reason, opposes – this is something that, of course, is not new to Iran, but it is something that we condemn at every turn,” he added.

Talking about ways to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Price called on Iran to abandon “extraneous” demands in nuclear talks.

“The only way to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is for Iran to drop further unacceptable demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA. We have long called these demands extraneous,” he said.

Notably, Biden administration provided clear instructions to the team regarding the nuclear deal.

“We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. We will use all tools available to deter, to contain, and otherwise counter dangerous Iranian activities in the region and in some cases well beyond, not the least of which, as we’ve all been discussing in recent days, is the plotting against former US officials and other potential threats to American citizens,” said Price.

However, Price also said that the US believe diplomacy is by far the best, the most effective means by which to constrain verifiably and permanently Iran’s nuclear program.He further stated that the US has taken a principled and very deliberate approach over the course of the past 15 or 16 months or so with the remaining JCPOA participants.

“If Iran is prepared for a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, so are we. We have made that abundantly clear since the outset,” said Price.

“And we are prepared to negotiate one thing and one thing only: that is the steps that Iran would need to take to once again place the permanent and verifiable limits on its nuclear program, and the steps we, in turn, would be prepared to take to lift sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program if Iran agreed to take those steps,” he added.

Price also worked with Masih Alinejad, an activist from Iran who is now living in exile and running a social media campaign against the law requiring women to wear the hijab.

Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, the hijab has been the norm in that country. According to the legislation, women who choose not to cover their heads in public may be subject to severe fines and jail terms.