Iranian ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan on Saturday hailed the man who stabbed British author Salman Rushdie -- the target of a 1989 Iranian fatwa calling for his death
Rushdie was on a ventilator after the attack during a literary event in New York state on Friday, more than 30 years after he went into hiding following late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's fatwa
"Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York," wrote the paper, whose chief is appointed by current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
"Let us kiss the hands of the one who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife," the daily added
With the exception of reformist publication Etemad, Iranian media followed a similar line, describing Rushdie as an "apostate"
State-owned paper Iran said that the "neck of the devil" had been "cut by a razor"
Iranian authorities have yet to make any official comment on the stabbing attack against Rushdie
But Mohammad Marandi, an adviser to the negotiating team for Iran's nuclear talks in Vienna, wrote on Twitter: "I won't be shedding tears for a writer who spouts endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam"
"But, isn't it odd that as we near a potential nuclear deal, the US makes claims about a hit on Bolton... and then this happens?" he questioned[…]
In 1998, the government of Iran's reformist president Mohammad Khatami assured Britain that Iran would not implement the fatwa
But Khamenei said in 2005 he still believed Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam