Hurd attacks Tehran over Rushdie 'fatwa'

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The Independent Online
DOUGLAS HURD yesterday made his strongest statement on the Salman Rushdie affair since the resumption of Anglo-Iranian relations, saying the 'incitement to murder' of the fatwa against the author ruled out normal ties with the Islamic Republic, writes Annika Savill.

The statement clearly reflects growing exasperation with an Iranian leadership which said three days ago that the fatwa could never be revoked, and which is believed to be behind continuing terror attacks on foreign soil while claiming to seek better relations with the West.

After speaking in Strasbourg as President of the Council of Europe, the Foreign Secretary asked to address the assembly in a national capacity. 'I remain greatly concerned at the continuing failure of the Iranian authorities to repudiate the incitement to murder of the British subject, Mr Salman Rushdie, and the bounty offered in that respect by an Iranian organisation,' Mr Hurd said. 'This failure inevitably prevents the establishment of full and friendly relations between Britain and Iran.'