An Iranian government official denied Monday that Tehran was involved in the attack on writer Salman Rushdie, in the country’s first official statement on the attack.

The comments of Nasser Kanaani, a spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, two days after the attack on Rushdie in New York.

However, Iran has denied conducting other foreign operations against dissidents in the years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, although prosecutors and Western governments have blamed Tehran for several such attacks.

“We, in the Salman Rushdie attack incident in the United States, do not believe that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters,” Kanaani said. “No one has the right to accuse Iran in this regard.”

Rushdie, 75, was stabbed Friday during a function in western New York. He suffered liver damage, as well as severed nerves in one arm and one eye, according to his agent. It was likely that he would lose the injured eye.

His assailant, Hadi Matar, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges associated with the attack through his lawyer.

The award-winning writer has faced death threats for more than 30 years for his work “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late supreme leader, Ayatollah Rujollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding his death. An Iranian foundation offered a reward of more than 3 million dollars for murdering the author.

Kanaani added that Iran “does not have any other information, other than what has been reported by the US media.”

The spokesman said the West “condemns the actions of the aggressor and in return glorifies the actions of the offender to Islamic beliefs”, something he described as “a contradictory attitude”.

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