Armed vehicles have been deployed outside the Iran International television studios in London after two of its journalists were threatened by Tehran, the channel said.
There were about seven vehicles outside the studio in Chiswick Park, west London, after “severe and credible” threats were recently made against two of the UK-based channel’s journalists, one of its spokesmen told AFP.
Police confirmed that its officers “are working in response to potential threats projected from Iran against a number of UK-based individuals.
“Whilst we will not be going into detail as to what these are, it does include the presence of overt armed police officers in the vicinity of the west London offices of a UK-based Persian language media company,” the force told AFP in a statement.
The channel, which has been showing recent protests in the Middle Eastern nation, has been proscribed as a “terrorist” organisation by the regime, but can still be accessed via the internet.
“The threats against us have escalated as the protests in Iran go on, because we cover them 24/7,” said the media outlet’s spokesperson.
He said the presence of armoured vehicles was a “massive deterrence” that had “reassured” staff.
“They’ve worked there for five years, they’re used to this, their families get threatened in Iran,” he said.
“Recently in Tehran there have been wanted posters going up with some of our presenters’ faces on them. But the mood is just getting on with it.”
MI5 said on Wednesday that Iran wants to kidnap or kill UK-based individuals it deems “enemies of the regime”, with at least 10 such plots uncovered so far this year.
Director general Ken McCallum warned in a speech at the agency’s Thames House headquarters that Iran “projects threat to the UK directly, through its aggressive intelligence services”.
He said this could include “ambitions to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of the regime”.
Last week, the foreign secretary, James Cleverly, summoned Iran’s top-ranking diplomat in London, accusing Tehran of threatening the lives of UK-based journalists.
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Addressing an international security conference in Bahrain on Saturday, Cleverly accused the Tehran regime of spreading “bloodshed and destruction” around the world.
He warned that Iranian-supplied weapons are threatening security in the Middle East and beyond, pointing to the Iranian-made attack drones being used by Russia to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure as an example of its influence.
“Iranian-supplied weapons threaten the entire region,” the Braintree MP told the Manama Dialogue.
“Today, Iran’s nuclear programme is more advanced than ever before, and the regime has resorted to selling Russia the armed drones that are killing civilians in Ukraine.
“As their people demonstrate against decades of oppression, Iran’s rulers are spreading bloodshed and destruction as far away as Kyiv.
“Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat, interdict the smuggling of conventional arms and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”