- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Salman Rushdie is dismissing the latest threat against his life as just talk.

The author of the novel “The Satanic Verses” says the threat “was essentially one priest in Iran looking for a headline.”

Rushdie spoke Tuesday night before about 400 people at a New York Barnes & Noble store about his newly published memoir, “Joseph Anton.” The memoir tells of his years in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 declared “The Satanic Verses” blasphemous and called for his death.

A semi-official Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii has raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million after recent protests against an anti-Islamic film that helped lead to riots around the Middle East. But Rushdie says Saneii has long offered a bounty and few people have taken him seriously.

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