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IRANIAN SPEAKER SAYS RUSHDIE’S SENTENCE STANDS

SHARE IRANIAN SPEAKER SAYS RUSHDIE’S SENTENCE STANDS

Iran's powerful parliament speaker, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said Thursday the death sentence leveled by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie cannot be reversed.

"This is not the kind of prescription that can be reversed," said Rafsanjani, on a diplomatic mission to the Soviet Union. "There is no one on behalf of God who can reverse this decision."Rafsanjani's comments at the morning news conference in effect let stand Khomeini's death sentence against the Indian-born author who lives in Britain, for his novel, "The Satanic Verses," which many Moslems said blasphemed Islam.

The novel has been banned in Iran and numerous other nations.