Updated Oct 28, 2022, 1:06pm EDT
North America

US sanctions Iranian group for placing multimillion-dollar bounty on Salman Rushdie’s life

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The U.S. government imposed sanctions Friday against an Iran-based foundation and named it a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization for issuing a bounty of $3.3 million for the killing of Salman Rushdie, the author who was attacked onstage in August.

The writer Salman Rushdie interviewed during Heartland Festival in Kvaerndrup, Denmark June 2, 2018.
Carsten Bundgaard/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS
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The sanctions against the 15 Khordad Foundation freeze any of its U.S. assets and bar Americans from doing business with the group.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Treasury called it a “so-called charitable foundation subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini.”

Khomeini had called for Rushdie’s execution in 1989 following the publication of his book “The Satanic Verses.” Since then the 15 Khordad Foundation “has committed millions of dollars to anyone willing to carry out this heinous act,” the Treasury Department said.


In 2012, the foundation increased its bounty on the author from $2.7 million to $3.3 million. It’s leaders have “publicly advertised their offer” and claimed that the full amount would “be given immediately to anyone who assassinated Rushdie,” the Treasury Department said.

In August, the Indian-born British-American novelist was stabbed onstage ahead of a public lecture in New York. His agent said he lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand.

U.S. officials called the attack an act of terrorism.