Iranian TV channel closes London offices

A private Iranian television channel, Iran International TV, announced on Saturday the closure of its London offices due to “threats” from Iran and will continue to broadcast from Washington. “After a significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran and police advice” from London, “Iran International TV has reluctantly closed its London studios” and will now broadcast from the US federal capital without interruption, said announced the channel in a press release.

These threats had reached such a point “that it was no longer possible to protect the staff of the channel, the other employees” from the location of the premises of Iran International TV and “the public”, continues the text. “I can’t believe it’s come to this,” Mahmood Enayat, the channel’s chief executive, said in the statement. “A foreign state has caused such a threat to the British public on British soil that we have had to to relocate “.

According to him, this is “not just a threat to our television, but to the British public more widely”. “Beyond that, it is an attack on the values ​​of sovereignty, security and freedom of speech that the United Kingdom has always treasured,” he continues.

A “very specific” threat

“We refuse to be silenced by these cowardly threats,” continued the channel, which claims 30 million viewers among the Iranian population and the diaspora. “We will not tolerate any threat to any media or journalist,” responded a government spokesperson. “We know that the Iranian regime has set a pattern for the type of behavior that is totally unacceptable, but sadly typical of the regime and its lack of respect for basic rights.”

London police meanwhile said that in light of an ongoing investigation into the arrest of a man, who has been charged on suspicion of having gathered information which could be useful to the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism, “serious concerns” remain for the safety of the employees of this company. Police have provided “additional advice and the business is now moving,” said Assistant Terrorism Police Commissioner Matt Jukes. He says the threat is “very specific”, he said security measures will remain in place for the time being, despite the company moving.

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