Iranian TV host stabbed outside London home

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Iran International journalist Pouria ZaraatiImage source, Iran International

A presenter for a London-based Iranian TV news channel has been repeatedly stabbed outside his home in the city’s south, his channel has said.

Iran International, which reported extensively in 2022 on anti-government protests in Iran, said Pouria Zeraati, 36, was attacked by a group.

The Metropolitan Police said specialist counter-terrorism officers were leading an investigation into the stabbing.

The victim was stable in hospital, the force added.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command unit, said officers were keeping an open mind as to any motivation behind the attack.

The Met said counter-terrorism officers had been assigned due to “the victim’s occupation as a journalist at a Persian-language media organisation based in the UK”.

It added this was “coupled with the fact that there has been a number of threats directed towards this group of journalists”.

Mr Murphy said extra patrols were being sent to the area of the attack and “other sites around London” as a precaution.

No arrests have been made.

Nearly 18 months ago, Iran International became one of the main providers of news during the wave of anti-government protests in Iran.

In November 2022 two British-Iranian journalists from the channel were warned by police of a possible risk to their lives.

An armed police presence was stationed near the channel’s studios, and concrete barriers were placed outside the building.

Then, in February 2023, Iran International TV temporarily shut down operations in London and moved its broadcasting studios to Washington DC.

The Persian-language TV channel said the decision was due to a “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran”.

Operations resumed at a new location in London last September.

According to the Met Police, since the start of 2022, 15 plots had been foiled to either kidnap or kill UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of the Iranian regime.

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