August 17, 2022

Rushdie's attempted assassination should not be taken lightly - opinion

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

Endless patience and restraint will not improve America’s safety. Strong punitive action is needed to deter the leaders in Tehran.

The attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses who had long resided in the United States, was both the fulfillment of a decades-old threat and the latest in a string of recent attempts to extend the Iranian regime’s terror campaign to American soil.

The ayatollahs have long used extraterritorial assassinations and terrorist proxies as a twisted form of statecraft. But with the final text for a return to the JCPOA readied and Iranian nuclear enrichment at a record high, the Biden administration may be tempted to simply look past Tehran’s brazenness. That would be a mistake.

Preliminary reports indicate that the assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, born in a Shi’ite family from south Lebanon living in New Jersey, was, if not directed by Tehran, at least inspired by it. Matar expressed admiration for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was a fan of Qasem Soleimani, the former head of the Quds Force, and recently tweeted the song “Hello Commander,” a propaganda tune created by the Revolutionary Guards to mobilize its followers…