Iran’s state-backed media is warning that former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are the next likely targets for an attack following the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie.
Iran’s Kayhan newspaper, whose editor is personally chosen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared in a front-page editorial published Sunday that “God has taken his revenge on Rushdie” and that “it is now the turn of Trump and Pompeo.”
“The attack on [Mr. Rushdie] shows it is not a difficult job to take similar revenge on Trump and Pompeo and from now on they will feel more in danger for their lives,” according to The Daily Telegraph.
Mr. Rushdie, 75, was stabbed at least 10 times Friday during a speaking engagement in New York. His son, Zafar Rushdie, described his father’s condition as critical on Sunday, despite being taken off of a ventilator over the weekend.
The India-born British author has lived under threat after the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in response to Mr. Rushdie’s 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses.”
Iran has denied any links to the attack.
“We have not seen anything else about the individual that carried out this act other than what we’ve seen from American media,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Monday during a press conference. “We categorically and seriously deny any connection of the assailant with Iran,”
Mr. Rushdie’s alleged assailant — Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old American born to Lebanese parents — was quickly detained and charged with attempted murder.
Mr. Matar’s mother told The Daily Mail that he became radicalized after visiting Lebanon in 2018.
Iran has made similar threats against Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo following the 2020 strike that killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Force Commander Qassim Soleimani.
In January, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi marked the second anniversary of the strike by declaring that the two men “will be charged for committing this heinous crime and will face the consequence of their criminal actions.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress in April that the threat of an Iranian attack on Mr. Pompeo is “real and ongoing.”
Last week the Justice Department revealed an Iranian plot to murder former Trump administration National Security Adviser John Bolton on U.S. soil.