"This historic fatwa and verdict was issued from the position of the government and as such is a government decree." So long as the clerical regime "remains in power, the fatwa remains in force," it added.
Meanwhile, the state-run Jomhouri Islami wrote in its Monday's editorial that the regime's position on Rushdie "has not and will not change." It added: "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot and must not separate itself from the Imam [Khomeini]... Friend and foe must be aware that only Rushdie's death will close the file on him. Implementing the fatwa is the religious duty of 1.5 billion Muslims."
Ressalat daily also stressed on September 26: "Iran-Britain agreement has not changed anything. The fatwa to murder Rushdie now is not at all different from 10 years ago when the Imam [Khomeini] first issued the decree. Not only is Salman Rushdie condemned to death... but the publishers of his book should await the same fate."
Positions by government officials, organs and media that the fatwa cannot change and that it must be carried out, demonstrate that the Cook-Kharrazi deal lacks political, legal and practical value. Export of terrorism is indispensable to the ruling theocracy in its totality and any investment in an illusory moderate faction within this regime is doomed to fail.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 1, 1998