An Iranian-based broadcaster based in the UK was forced to leave Iran by threats from Tehran. He has been protected by armed police, and the situation has “getting outof hand”, according to a senior editor.
After being warned by police that there were “imminent and credible dangers to their lives,” Iran International TV was forced to move its headquarters to Washington DC, the US.
Channel 5 stated that although it had “reluctantly closed” its Chiswick studios in west London, but that its staff “refused to be silenced with these cowardly threats”,
Sky News’ editor Niusha Boghrati said that the threats had become a reality due to terrorism.
“That’s what the Met Police told us. They threatened to kill us if we didn’t move the operation.
It was difficult to believe.
“The Met Police have been enforcing a strong security perimeter around the London office with armed police. But it appears that things are getting out of control. It was very important.
“When you go into this arena as a journalist to cover the Islamic government, you will know that it is going have consequences. These consequences have been with us for many years.
“The threats and pressure on journalists are not new. But the threats of kidnapping and assassination is something we have not yet experienced.”
Scotland Yard revealed that MI5 and police foiled 15 plots to kidnap or assassinate UK-based people believed to be enemies of the Iranian regime.
Police said that a man was taken into custody in the vicinity of the TV studio on Monday and charged with terrorist offences in relation to the surveillance at the headquarters.
Boghrati stated that the station will continue to cover protests and pursue the “bigger goal” of finding the truth for Iranians.
He said, “It was a difficult time, but we have managed the operation to continue 24/7.”
“The greater goal will keep us all moving.”
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A spokesperson for the Home Office stated that media freedom is an essential part of society. Journalists must be free to investigate and report on their own without fear.
“We won’t tolerate any threat to journalists or media organizations. We are aware that the Iranian regime has displayed a pattern of behavior which is totally unacceptable but unfortunately typical of its disregard for basic rights.
“The police continue to respond to this threat. We will continue using all the tools we have to protect UK citizens from any Iranian threats.”