Conference of Presidents Disturbed by Attack on Salman Rushdie

New York, NY,...Dianne Lob, Chair, and William Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

"We are shocked and outraged by the assassination attempt on author Salman Rushdie at New York state’s Chautauqua Institution and condemn in the strongest possible terms Iran’s direct ordering of its followers to murder Rushdie and others opposed to the regime’s criminal behavior.

"Iran remains the world’s most significant supporter of terrorism directly and through its regional and international proxies, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an armed, political faction responsible for untold deaths, violations of human rights, support for terror, and the targeting of American and Western interests across the globe. Iran has a sordid history of plotting assassinations outside its borders. Just this week, the Justice Department announced criminal charges against a member of Iran's IRGC for their attempt to orchestrate the assassination of former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, who previously survived an Iranian kidnapping and assassination plot. All of these reprehensible schemes relied on a network of proxies intending to reach and harm individuals on U.S. soil. We must immediately address this security crisis at home while continuing to limit Iran’s influence in the region.

"The rogue Iranian regime is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people in Iran, the Middle East, and around the world. It regularly calls for 'Death to America' and 'Death to Israel' — as Ayatollah Khomeini continues to further his nuclear ambitions and hegemonic goals.

"With the regime stressing that the fatwa against Rushdie was still valid in 2005, and again in 2019, the U.S. and world leaders must recognize that Iran cannot be trusted to operate in good faith with the rest of the international community. Continued pressure by international agencies is essential until Iran is ready to rejoin the community of nations and stop its subversive activities, support for terrorism, and aggressive behavior.

"We call for increased sanctions and other strong measures led by the United States to send a clear message and to counter Iranian aggression. We further demand that Twitter and other social media companies take appropriate measures to remove hate and violence-inciting speech on their platforms. Twitter can immediately suspend at least six accounts controlled by the regime: @Khamenei_fa; @Khamenei_tv; @khamenei_ir; @Khameneiru; @es_Khamenei; @ar_khamenei; demonstrating a firm commitment from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Twitter board chair Bret Taylor to operate against hate, violent rhetoric, terrorism, antisemitism, and Holocaust denial, among many other offences committed by the Ayatollah.

"The international community must remain on high alert and must act decisively to limit Iran’s influence in the region and globally and particularly to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capacity before it is too late. The Biden administration should take a hard line in any future negotiations and cannot ignore the unprecedented threat posed by the Ayatollah and his followers to individuals currently living or residing in the U.S."

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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