Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joked about the fatwa on British writer Salman Rushdie’s head during a breakfast with Western journalists in New York today. “Where is he now?” Ahmadinejad asked of Rushdie according to the Telegraph. “Is he in the United States? If he is, you shouldn’t broadcast that for his own safety.”
While apparently a joke, its a surprising move considering Rushdie faced a very real threat of death from the Iranian government after the publication of his book “The Satanic Verses” in 1988.
While the Iranian state no longer supports the fatwa, 15 Khordad Foundation, a semi-official Iranian religious organisation, pushed the reward on the fatwa rose to $3.3 million.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.