Iran International journalist stabbed in London following ‘heavy’ death threats News
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Iran International journalist stabbed in London following ‘heavy’ death threats

Pouria Zeraati, an Iranian journalist and TV presenter at Iran International, was stabbed on Friday in front of his home in London. The channel’s spokesman, Adam Baillie, reported the journalist was the victim of “heavy death threats” and that Zeraati was “obviously shaken up but making a good recovery.” Iran International is a UK-based channel providing “a fair and balanced view of what happens inside Iran.”

The UK Metropolitan police launched an investigation into the attack. This is being conducted by the Counter Terrorism Command, due to Zeraati’s journalist status in addition to the threats received by members of the Persian-speaking channel. It stated that the motives behind the incident were unclear as of yet but affirmed his condition is stable.

Baillie described the attack as “very alarming,” as it was the first “physical attack” against staff of Iran International, whom he said were under “considerable threats” for a year, including death threats against “high profile presenters” such as Zeraati.  He stressed that these threats have “escalated dramatically.” Baillie said that the channel was being targeted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a paramilitary organization responsible for the internal and external security of Iran, who made several threats in the past. In October 2022, Baillie said they stated that “we are coming for you.”

The UK government imposed sanctions on senior officials of the IRGC in 2023, saying the group was responsible for “the repression of protest in Iran which has seen more than 500 killed and tens of thousands imprisoned.”

UK MP Alicia Kearns condemned the attack in a statement on X:

This is deeply upsetting, Iran International had to shut down its UK arm for a short period, it only recently returned to the air from London. Whilst we don’t know the circumstances of this attack, Iran continues to hunt down those brave enough to speak out against the regime. Yet I remain unconvinced that we and our allies have clear strategies to protect people in our countries from them, and protect our interests abroad.

The Iranian government is renowned for its targeting of journalists and dissidents. Authorities have reportedly arrested over 90 journalists for covering the death of Mahsa Amini, who was killed in custody in 2022 after being arrested in Tehran by the morality police for opposing mandatory hijab (veiling) standards, and the subsequent nationwide prostests. Amnesty International urged authorities to halt the crackdown on protests and has reported the death of over 19 people killed by security forces.  Two journalists who were arrested and charged with collaborating with the US government and colluding against national security were recently released. The UN released a report in March on the mass human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian government during the protests related to Amini’s death.