UK foreign secretary summons Iran diplomat following threats to UK-based journalists News
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UK foreign secretary summons Iran diplomat following threats to UK-based journalists

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly Monday summoned the Iranian Charge D’affaires Mehdi Hosseini Matin due to threats from the Iranian regime concerning UK-based journalists working for Iran International. The London-based, Persian-language news channel recently paused their reporting in the UK as a result of “very real and specific threats.”

In the midst of ongoing nationwide protests over the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, the Iranian government continues to crackdown on the public with mass arrests and public executions, among other limitations to people’s freedoms. As a part of this crackdown, the Iranian regime is now targeting UK Iran International journalists. The UK Metropolitan Police labelled it a “serious” and “grave” situation and advised Iran International to relocate due to the “hostile intentions of foreign states.” Iran International followed the advice. Previously UK-based journalists are temporarily reporting from existing studios in US until appropriate measures are put in place in the UK to ensure their safety.

In a statement to the House of Commons Monday, Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat said:

Freedom of the press it as the heart of our freedoms. Tehran’s efforts to silence Iran International are a direct attack on our freedoms and an attempt to undermine our sovereignty. They will fail . . . The media must be free to work without fear.

Tugendhat also stated that UK Parliament will be “taking further action in response to these threats.” Alongside their international partners, the UK also imposed more sanctions on prominent figures in Iran, including Musa Asif Al-Hosseini, who sentenced two people to death following trials built on alleged forced confessions.