Counter-Terror Investigation Launched After Iranian Journalist Stabbed Outside London Home

An Iranian journalist was hospitalised after being stabbed multiple times outside of his home in London on Friday afternoon.

British counterterrorism police have launched an investigation after the stabbing of UK-based Iranian journalist Pouria Zeraati, who hosts a programme on the Iran International television network, which has been heavily critical of the Islamist government in Tehran.

According to information reported by The Telegraph, Zeraati was leaving his London home at around 3:15 on Friday afternoon when he was approached by a man who attempted to engage him in conversation. While this was happening, another man came upon him from behind and began stabbing the journalist with a knife.

The two attackers are then reported to have fled with the assistance of a third man, who was waiting in a nearby car. Zeraati was rushed to hospital and was treated for multiple stab wounds. He is believed to be in stable condition.

Speaking to The Sun, the head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, Commander Dominic Murphy said: “While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and our publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organisation, the investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

“I must stress that, at this early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this.

“While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of inquiry and our priority at this time is to try and identify whoever was behind this attack and to arrest them.”

The Islamist regime in Iran previously classified Zeraati’s TV network as a terrorist group for supposedly inspiring riots against the government in 2022.

The Persian-language television network briefly suspended its operations in London and relocated staff to its offices in Washington D.C. last year over a “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran”. However, Iran International ultimately resumed its broadcasting from the UK.

In December, British broadcaster ITV reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) had planned to assassinate two Iran International journalists, Fardad Farahzad and Sima Sabet, reportedly offering a people smuggler £150,000 to attack them with knives at their homes. It was speculated that this plot was a backup after a foiled attempt to set off a car bomb outside the London headquarters of Iran International.

Commenting on the attack, Sima Sabet said that it is “a serious warning and an extremely troubling act for all journalists and opponents of the Islamic Republic in Britain and other Western countries.The Counter Terrorism Police have been in constant contact with me over the past few months, for which I am grateful. However, I must emphatically mention that the British government has not taken sufficient, meaningful, decisive, and effective political action against the terrorism of the Iranian government.

“As a journalist and a British citizen, I cannot hide my criticism and concern over this political and diplomatic negligence. Many of my journalist friends agree with this assessment.

“London is our home. Britain must be a safe place for journalists across all media, and unsafe for extremists and terrorists receiving orders from Tehran. Our voice will not be silenced by threat and terrorism. Journalism is not a crime; state terrorism is. Stop it.”

Sabet said that after the stabbing, she was urged by the Metrpoloitan Police to leave her home and “stay elsewhere until further notice.”

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