TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran is boycotting this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair in protest over a planned opening speech at the venue by India-born British novelist Salman Rushdie.
Iranian state TV reported on Thursday that the ministry of culture called the decision by the fair organizers to invite Rushdie an “anti-cultural action.” It said Iran won’t attend the fair in protest and urged other Islamic countries to do the same.
Hundreds of Iranian publishers usually attend the annual event, due Oct. 14-18.
Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses,” has been banned in Iran since 1998, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death.
Iran has also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.