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Iranian TV Host Pouria Zeraati Stabbed Outside London Home

Pouria Zeraati, the presenter of an Iranian TV news channel based in London, has been stabbed multiple times outside his residence in the city, the channel reported.

Zeraati, 36, was attacked by a group, according to Iran International, which extensively covered anti-government protests in Iran in 2022.

Specialist counter-terrorism officers of the Metropolitan Police are leading an investigation into the stabbing, with the victim reported to be in stable condition in the hospital, the police said.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command unit, stated that investigators are considering all possible motivations behind the attack.

The Met explained that counter-terrorism officers were assigned due to “the victim’s occupation as a journalist at a Persian-language media organisation based in the UK,” and due to “threats directed towards this group of journalists.”

Additional patrols have been dispatched to the area of the attack in south London and other locations around the city as a precaution, Mr. Murphy added.

No arrests have been made thus far.

Almost 18 months ago, during the wave of anti-government protests in Iran, Iran International emerged as a key news provider.

In November 2022, police warned two British-Iranian journalists from the channel of potential risks to their lives.

Armed police were deployed near the channel’s studios, and concrete barriers were erected outside the building.

Around the same time in Tehran, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, Ismail Khatib, declared Iran International a terrorist organization, accusing it of inciting riots against the regime.

In February 2023, Iran International temporarily halted its operations in London, relocating its broadcasting studios to Washington, DC, citing a “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran.”

Operations resumed at a new London location in September of the same year.

In December last year, Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev, an Austrian national aged 31, was imprisoned for “attempting to collect or make a record containing information useful to a terrorist.”

The Met Police stated that Dovtaev filmed the outside and security arrangements of a building in Chiswick Business Park, where Iran International was situated, in February 2023.

According to the Met Police, 15 plots to either abduct or assassinate UK-based individuals perceived as adversaries of the Iranian regime have been thwarted since the beginning of 2022.

In response to the latest incident on Friday, Tory MP Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, described the stabbing as “deeply upsetting.”

“While we don’t know the circumstances of this attack, Iran continues to hunt down those brave enough to speak out against the regime,” she wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

Earlier this year, Lord Cameron imposed sanctions on several Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders after they were exposed in an ITV investigation into plots to assassinate two television presenters from Iran International on UK soil.

He stated that the sanctions, including asset freezes and UK travel bans, unveiled “the roles of the Iranian officials and gangs involved in activity aimed to undermine, silence, and disrupt the democratic freedoms we value in the UK.”

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