Washington, DC – The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against the 15 Khordad Foundation, an Iran-based foundation that issued a multi-million dollar bounty for the murder of prominent Indian-British-American author Salman Rushdie. Since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s order issuing Rushdie’s death sentence in February 1989, the 15 Khordad Foundation has pledged millions of dollars to anyone willing to commit this heinous act. Since putting its bounty on Rushdie, the 15 Khordad Foundation, which is affiliated with the Supreme Leader, has increased the reward for targeting the perpetrator.
“The United States will not waver in its resolve to resist threats posed by Iranian authorities to the universal rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of the press,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “This act of violence, welcomed by the Iranian regime, is appalling. We all hope for Salman Rushdie’s speedy recovery from the attack on his life.
OFAC designates 15 Khordad Foundation pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for materially aiding, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services in or in support of an act of terrorism.
15 Khordad Foundation
The 15 Khordad Foundation is a so-called charitable foundation subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Since 1989, the 15 Khordad Foundation, inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini’s order calling for Rushdie’s execution, has proudly placed a bounty on the author’s life.
The call for Rushdie’s assassination, made by Ayatollah Khomeini and financially supported by the 15 Khordad Foundation and other Iranian entities, resulted in the deaths and injuries of several people associated with Rushdie’s novel. satanic verses, including other authors, translators and editors. In 1991, the translator of satanic verses in Japanese was murdered in his office. Even people unrelated to the novel were mutilated or killed. In 1993, at least 37 people were killed when a mob burned down a hotel in Turkey that was hosting a writer who had translated Rushdie’s work.
The 15 Khordad Foundation maintains a multi-million dollar bounty on Rushdie. As recently as 2012, the 15 Khordad Foundation increased its bounty on the author, bringing the total sum from $2.7 million to $3.3 million. The leadership of the 15 Khordad Foundation publicly announced their offer, saying that the entire sum would be given immediately to anyone who murdered Rushdie.
Consequences of sanctions
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the entity named above, and any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by it, individually or with other blocked individuals, who are in the United States or in the possession or control of US nationals, must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt. OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting through the United States) that involve property or interests in property of named persons or otherwise blocked.
In addition, engaging in certain transactions with the Designated Entity today carries the risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to EO 13224, as amended. Under this authority, OFAC may prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintenance in the United States of a correspondent account or transit account of a foreign financial institution that has knowingly made or facilitate any material transaction on behalf of a Global Terrorist.
OFAC’s sanctioning authority and integrity derives not only from its ability to designate and add individuals to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove individuals from the SDN List in accordance with law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about positive behavior change. For more information on the process for requesting removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN list, please refer to OFAC 897 Frequently Asked Questions. For detailed information on the process for submitting an OFAC sanctions list removal request, please click here.