The attack on Salman Rushdie is yet a further example of the dangers of the IRGC and why they should be proscribed as a terror organisation by the UK government.

The British-American author, born in India, was left with ‘life-changing injuries’ after being stabbed on stage at an event in New York on Friday. Investigations are ongoing into the links of the attacker and have not revealed if there was a direct link, but intelligence reports have said suspect Hadi Matar had contact with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In 1989, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding the author’s death, and while Iran has not focused on Rushdie in recent years, the decree still stands.

Also, a semiofficial Iranian foundation had posted a bounty of over $3 million for the killing of the author. It has not commented on the attack.

Matar, 24, was born in the US to parents who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border and is a village where Hezbollah has strong support with posters honouring Iran’s former supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Hezbollah fighters.  Matar’s father currently lives in Yaroun following his parent’s divorce. 

Matar had lived in recent years in New Jersey with his mother, who told London’s Daily Mail that her son became moody and more religious after a month-long trip to Lebanon in 2018.

An Iranian official on 15 August denied Tehran was involved in the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie, though he sought to justify the attack.

“Regarding the attack against Salman Rushdie in America, we don’t consider anyone deserving reproach, blame or even condemnation, except for (Rushdie) himself and his supporters,” said Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

“In this regard, no one can blame the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added. “We believe that the insults made and the support he received was an insult against followers of all religions.”

According to VICE, a Middle Eastern intelligence official said it was “clear” prior to the stabbing that Matar had been in contact with “people either directly involved with or adjacent to the Quds Force,” the IRGC’s external militia.

“It’s unclear the extent of the involvement – if this was a directly supported assassination attempt or if it was a series of suggestions and directions in picking a target,” the official added.

A NATO official said that the attack “had all the hallmarks of a ‘guided’ attack”, where an intelligence service talks a supporter into action, without direct support or involvement in the attack itself.

Investigators have so far not revealed that there was a direct link between the Iranian government and Mr Rushdie’s attacker.

Another Middle Eastern intelligence official told Vice that it was unlikely the attacker decided to act on his own accord.

“A 24-year-old born in the United States does not come up with Salman Rushdie as a target on his own,” he said.

“Even an avid consumer of Iranian propaganda would have some difficulty finding references to Rushdie compared to all the other, modern enemies designated by the regime.”

IRGC should be banned in the UK

Rishi Sunak, one of two candidates seeking to become Britain’s next prime minister, said Friday’s attack on author Salman Rushdie should serve as a wake-up call to the West over Iran.

“The brutal stabbing of Salman Rushdie should be a wake-up call for the West, and Iran’s reaction to the attack strengthens the case for proscribing the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps),” Sunak, the former finance minister, said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The IRGC represents a threat to UK citizens, the British Jewish Community, other UK nationals with connections to Israel and general British interests with the Middle East and Gulf states.

Hamas and Hezbollah are both listed as terrorist groups. The IRGC should be also.

The IRGC supports, arms, trains and funds other terrorist organisations including Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the terror group that was responsible for firing over 1000 rockets indiscriminately into Israeli civilian areas earlier this month.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the UK government may proscribe an organisation if a group: “commits or participates in acts of terrorism; prepares for terrorism; promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism); or is otherwise concerned in terrorism.”

The IRGC meets all these criteria.

The attack on Salman Rushdie is a wakeup call for the West; action must be taken. 

ACT NOW: Call upon the UK government to ban the IRGC – Click here

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