USIP Newsletter: Aug 18, 2022


The latest newsletter: Salman Rushdie stabbed; politics of Khomeini fatwa and 33-year timeline; John Bolton murder plot; chronology of assassinations; poll on nuclear deal; and the news digest.

Salman Rushdie (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

Iran and the Rushdie Attack
On August 12, award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie was stabbed in an assassination attempt while lecturing in upstate New York. Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old assailant, supported Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese proxy. Rushdie has been a target of militants since 1989, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning the writer to death for alleged blasphemy in his novel “The Satanic Verses.”

U.S. Charges Iranian for Bolton Murder Plot
On August 10, the Justice Department announced charges against a member of the Revolutionary Guards for plotting to murder John Bolton, who served as national security advisor to President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2019. Shahram Poursafi planned the operation, “likely in retaliation” for the U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force.

Timeline: Iran's Assassinations and Plots
Iran has assassinated its enemies across four continents — in Asia, Europe, North America and South America — since the 1979 revolution. As of 2022, the Islamic Republic had reportedly assassinated at least 20 opponents abroad and killed hundreds in bombings of foreign military, diplomatic and cultural facilities.  

Iran Poll on Nuclear Deal
Seven years after it was negotiated, Iranian public opinion was split on the 2015 nuclear deal. Some 48 percent disapproved of the agreement while 47 percent approved of it, according to a new poll.

News Digest: Week of August 15
During the week of August 15, Iran responded to an E.U. proposal to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, the Revolutionary Guards hosted an international drone tournament, and Siamak Namazi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, marked his 2,500th day of wrongful imprisonment.

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