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The World

The British government assured novelist Salman Rushdie, ordered by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to pay with his life for a book considered offensive to Muslims, of its unwavering support. Asked to comment on the Indian-born writer’s fears that government backing was waning, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher replied that “the government has not changed its position at all on this.” In Tehran, Parliament Speaker Hashemi Rafsanjani said it would be difficult to repair the diplomatic damage done by Rushdie’s book, “The Satanic Verses.” “Even if the apostate Rushdie is executed, if Britain apologizes or if the book is withdrawn, the rift remains part of a global arrogance plot,” Tehran Radio quoted Rafsanjani as saying.


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