Washington [US], August 16 (ANI): The US on Monday (local time) termed the attack on Salman Rushdie as "despicable, disgusting" and called on Iran to abandon "extraneous" demands in nuclear talks.
In a media briefing, Ned Price, spokesperson of the US Department of State said, "It's despicable; it's disgusting. We condemn it. The Secretary yesterday in his statement, while noting that the investigation is ongoing, made the point that Salman Rushdie has been under threat for decades now. And it is no secret that the Iranian regime has been central to the threats against his life over the course of years now. We have heard Iranian officials seek to incite to violence over the years - of course, with the initial fatwah, but even more recently with the gloating that has taken place in the aftermath of this attack on his life. This is something that is absolutely outrageous, it's despicable, and we want it to be very clear that it is not something that we can tolerate."
He also highlighted Salman Rushdie's life, noting that beyond being a literary giant Salman Rushdie is someone who has defended, really embodied, the principles that we strive to protect and promote around the world - freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion - and the attack that saw on his life in some ways was an attack on those very principles.
Price further refuted Iran's foreign ministry's claims that they have no involvement in this attack.
"The number of statements that emanate from Iran towards the entire country of Israel, towards the Jewish people, towards any number of individuals, groups that the Iranian regime, for whatever reason, opposes - this is something that, of course, is not new to Iran, but it is something that we condemn at every turn," he added.
Talking about ways to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Price called on Iran to abandon "extraneous" demands in nuclear talks.
"The only way to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is for Iran to drop further unacceptable demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA. We have long called these demands extraneous," he said.
Notably, Biden administration provided clear instructions to the team regarding the nuclear deal.
"We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. We will use all tools available to deter, to contain, and otherwise counter dangerous Iranian activities in the region and in some cases well beyond, not the least of which, as we've all been discussing in recent days, is the plotting against former US officials and other potential threats to American citizens," said Price.
However, Price also said that the US believe diplomacy is by far the best, the most effective means by which to constrain verifiably and permanently Iran's nuclear program.
He further stated that the US has taken a principled and very deliberate approach over the course of the past 15 or 16 months or so with the remaining JCPOA participants.
"If Iran is prepared for a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, so are we. We have made that abundantly clear since the outset," said Price.
"And we are prepared to negotiate one thing and one thing only: that is the steps that Iran would need to take to once again place the permanent and verifiable limits on its nuclear program, and the steps we, in turn, would be prepared to take to lift sanctions on Iran's nuclear program if Iran agreed to take those steps," he added.
Price also dealt with Masih Alinejad, an exiled Iranian activist and now resides in the United States, started a social media campaign against the compulsory hijab law.
The hijab has been in place in Iran after the Iranian revolution in 1979. The law mandates that a woman who does not wear a hijab in public could face a heavy penalty and jail sentences.
"We do see this as a case of transnational repression, and in some ways attempted transnational aggression. The Department of Justice has released information about the plot against her, and obviously there have been concerning developments since. I don't want to weigh in on the specific actors involved in this, because there's still an active law enforcement component. But Iran is one of the many governments that has sought to export not only repression, but also aggression," said Price. (ANI)