London-based Iranian dissident broadcaster to leave UK following terror threat

Iran International previously received armed police protection following security concerns


A London-based Iranian dissident television channel has been forced to flee Britain after the Metropolitan police said they had “serious concerns” for the safety of its employees.

Iran International will now relocate to Washington DC but are “undeterred” and “refuse to be silenced,” the channel’s general manager, Mahmood Enayat, said.

“I cannot believe it has come to this. A foreign state has caused such a significant threat to the British public on British soil that we have to move,” Mr Enayat added.

“Let’s be clear, this is not just a threat to our TV station, but [to] the British public at large. This is an assault on the values of sovereignty and free speech that the UK has always held dear.

“Day and night our journalists strive to deliver the 85 million people of Iran and its diaspora the independent, uncensored news they deserve.”

The Metropolitan police’s head of counter terrorism policing, Matt Jukes, said 15 plots to kidnap or kill UK-based individuals seen as enemies of the Iranian regime had been foiled since the start of 2022.

The Iranian regime has previously “mapped” the Jewish diaspora to identify high-profile figures to target for an assassination campaign, the JC revealed this week.

Catherine Perez-Shakdam, a Jewish woman who met Ayatollah Khamenei, said the plans were designed to ensure “the diaspora would have a very nasty surprise” in the event of an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities.

Discussing Iran International’s decision to leave the UK, Mr Jukes said: "While the threat is very specific, we know that other people and organisations that work in that area may be concerned at this news. 

“I want to reassure the local community in that area that protective security measures will remain in place for the time being, despite the fact that the media company will be relocating. 

"We also appreciate that talking to a media company about moving their operations from a particular location - even though it is due to grave safety concerns - is exceptional. The advice to relocate has not been given lightly. 

“The situation that journalists face around the world and the fact that some journalists face such hostile intentions of foreign states whilst in the UK is a challenging reality that we are determined to confront.”

In November of last year, the station was placed under armed guard by the Metropolitan Police.

In December, foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “The UK remains absolutely determined to ensure that Iran does not intimidate people within this country. We will always stand up to the aggression from foreign nations…

“We will absolutely not tolerate threats, particularly towards journalists who are highlighting what is going on in Iran, or indeed any other individual living in the UK.”

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