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HomeNewsIranian TV host stabbed in London, probe ordered

Iranian TV host stabbed in London, probe ordered

NEW DELHI: British counter-terrorism detectives have launched an

investigation

into the stabbing of a journalist working for a Persian language media organization in London. The incident occurred on Friday in Wimbledon, southwest London, sparking fears that the journalist was targeted due to his profession.
The victim, identified by Britain’s

National Union of Journalists

(NUJ) as prominent British-based Iranian journalist

Pouria Zeraati

, hosts a show on

Iran

International, a Persian language television news network critical of Iran’s government.

Zeraati, in his 30s, sustained a leg injury during the attack but is in stable condition and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, condemned the attack as “cowardly” and expressed solidarity with Zeraati, his family, and colleagues. This incident follows Britain’s sanctions in January against Iranian officials, members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Unit 840, for their involvement in threats to kill journalists in the UK.
Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Counter Terrorism Command, said that while the motive remains unclear, the victim’s occupation and previous threats to Iran International employees are significant factors in the investigation. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the attack’s reason, British police and security officials have highlighted Iran’s increasing use of criminal proxies for attacks abroad, including direct threats against dissidents and political opponents linked to the Iranian state apparatus.

This stabbing raises concerns among journalists at Iran International and the BBC Persian Service about their safety, especially considering the reported plot to assassinate journalists Fardad Farahzad and Sima Sabet in 2022. The Metropolitan Police has been actively investigating threats from Iran targeting UK-based journalists for Persian-language media outlets, including plots to kidnap or kill individuals perceived as Tehran’s enemies.

In response to the escalating threats and harassment from Iran, including the assassination attempts, the UK government last year introduced a tougher sanctions regime against Iran for alleged human rights violations and hostile actions against its opponents on UK soil. The attack on Zeraati underscores the ongoing risks faced by journalists and dissidents living in the UK from foreign state actors.
(With inputs from agencies)