October 31, 2022

OFAC designates foundation responsible for multi-million dollar bounty on Salman Rushdie

On October 28, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated the 15 Khordad Foundation, a so-called charitable foundation that has issued a multi-million-dollar reward for the killing of Salman Rushdie, a prominent Indian-born, British-American author who was born in India.  The foundation, which is allegedly affiliated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, offered the bounty after the Supreme Leader ordered Rushdie’s death in 1989 following the release of Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses.”  OFAC reports that, over the years, several writers, translators, and publishers have been killed or injured for their association with the novel, including the 1991 assassination of the person responsible for translating the novel into Japanese.  The designation also comes just months after media outlets reported the attempted assassination of Rushdie in August 2022 while on stage, just before the author delivered a public lecture in Chautauqua, New York.

According to OFAC, the 15 Khordad Foundation increased Rushdie’s bounty from $2.7 million to $3.3 million in 2012 and has publicly advertised its offer to pay the entire sum to anyone who assassinates the author. The foundation is designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted or financially supported an act of terrorism.

As a result this designation, all property and interests in property of the designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated person.  In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by a designated person or entity are also blocked, and foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant transactions for the designated entities risk exposure to sanctions.

Department of Treasury Press Release