Iran International editor says Tehran threatens to ‘get out of control’ after TV channel forced out of UK | UK news

A UK-based Iranian TV station forced to move due to threats from Tehran is being guarded by armed police and the situation is “spinning out of control”, a senior editor said.

Iran International TV was was forced to move its headquarters from west London to Washington in the US after police warned of “imminent and credible threats to the lives of its journalists”, the station said.

The channel said it had “reluctantly” closed its west London studios in Chiswick, but its staff “refuse to be silenced by these cowardly threats”.

After the decision, editor-in-chief Niusha Boghrati told Sky News: “Threats have turned into the reality of terrorism.

“This is what the Meteorological Police told us. The threats were so real this time that they had to ask us to move the business out of the country.

Niusha Boghrati
Niusha Boghrati

“It was hard to believe.

“The Met Police have been heavily guarding the London office site with armed officers but it now appears to be getting out of hand. It was very important.

“When you enter this field as a journalist covering the Islamic State, you know there will be consequences. We have been living with these consequences for several years.

“Threats, pressure on journalists is nothing new, but threats of murder and kidnapping are an extreme we have not experienced so far.”

Scotland Yard revealed that police and MI5 had foiled 15 plots since the start of 2022 to either kidnap or kill UK-based people considered enemies of the Iranian regime.

Iran International TV studios in west London.  Photo: Iran International TV
The television studio in west London

On Monday, a man was arrested in the area around the television studio and charged with terrorist offenses related to the surveillance of the company’s headquarters, police said.

Mr Boghrati said the station’s coverage of the protests and the “greater goal” of seeking the truth about the people of Iran would not stop.

He added: “It’s been a tough time but we’ve managed to keep it running 24/7.

“The greater goal will keep us all.”

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A Home Office spokesman said: “Media freedom is a vital part of our society and journalists should be able to investigate and report independently without fear.

“We will not tolerate any threats to media organizations or journalists. We know that the Iranian regime has created a pattern of this type of behavior that is completely unacceptable, but unfortunately characteristic of the regime and its lack of respect for basic rights.

“Police continue to work in response to this threat. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to protect people in the UK from any threats from the Iranian state.”

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