Iran: Why the Rushdie Fatwa Was Lifted Now

Why the Rushdie Fatwa Was Lifted Now

Initial indications are that the decision by the Iranian government to disown the death sentence that was issued against novelist SALMAN RUSHDIE in 1989 is backed by both the competing moderate and hard-line factions in Iran. The first suggestion that this chapter was closing came last week in New York City, when Iran's moderate President Mohammed Khatami told reporters that the Rushdie affair was "completely finished." On Thursday, Iranian TV, which is controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, reported on the news from New York City factually and without editorial comment, signaling its acquiescence to the decision. The next day,...

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