The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Statement on Salman Rushdie – 12 February 1994

Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement on Salman Rushdie.


It is now five years since the late Ayatollah Khomeini, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a death threat against Salman Rushdie and others associated with the publication of his book, “The Satanic Verses”.

I met Salman Rushdie last May to demonstrate the Government’s full support for his fundamental rights. I have been heartened by the way in which many governments around the world have demonstrated their support both by meeting Mr Rushdie and in their discussions with the Iranian government. We all want to make clear to the Iranian government that they cannot enjoy full and friendly relations with the rest of the international community unless and until we can be satisfied that there is no further direct or indirect threat from the Iranian authorities to Mr Rushdie’s life, or to that of others associated with his book.

I hope very much that they will listen to the message.