The 24-year-old man who author Salman Rushdie last week has said that he acted alone and denied having any contact with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of Iranian Armed Forces, The New York Post reported on Wednesday.

Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen at an event in New York’s Chautauqua Institution on August 12. The author has faced several death threats for his book The Satanic Verses published in 1988. In 1989, Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a religious edict known as a fatwa, asking Muslims to kill Rushdie.

According to Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, the author’s liver and nerves in an arm were damaged in the attack. Rushdie was taken off the ventilator on August 13.

The attacker was identified as Hadi Matar, a resident of New Jersey and was arrested at the scene. He pleaded not guilty before a court in the Chautauqua county of New York’s Mayville and was remanded to custody without bail.

In a video interview from the Chautauqua County Jail, Matar told The New York Post that he was surprised when he found out that Rushdie had survived the attack. Matar said that he was inspired to go to Chautauqua after he saw a tweet announcing Rushdie’s visit.

“I don’t like the person,” he said. “I don’t think he’s a very good person. I don’t like him...He is someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”

Media reports had said that Matar was sympathetic toward the causes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is committed to protecting Iran’s Islamic system from hostile foreign powers and internal threats.

When asked if last week’s attack was inspired by the fatwa issued by Khomeini, Matar did not give a direct answer.

“I respect the Ayotallah,” he said. “I think he is a great person. That is as far as I will say about that.”

Matar said that he has read only a couple of pages of Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

“I didn’t read the whole thing cover to cover,” he added.

Matar told The New York Post that he is less familiar with Rushdie’s written work, and has only watched the author’s videos on YouTube.

“I saw a lot of lectures,” he added. “I don’t like people who are disingenuous like that.”

On Monday, Iran had denied being involved in the attack on Rushdie.

“We, in the incident of the attack on Salman Rushdie in the United States, do not consider that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters,” Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry said. “Nobody has the right to accuse Iran in this regard.”