UK counterterrorism police investigate attack on Iranian journalist outside his London home

British counterterrorism police are investigating the stabbing of an Iranian television presenter outside his home in London as concern grows over threats to a Farsi-language satellite news channel long critical of Iran’s theocratic government.

Pouria Zeraati, a presenter at London-based Iran International, was stabbed in the leg Friday afternoon and is in stable condition at a hospital, the station said. His condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service said Zeraati’s occupation, together with recent threats to U.K.-based Iranian journalists, triggered the counterterrorism probe, even though the motivation for the attack is still unclear.

“While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of inquiry and our priority at this time is to try and identify whoever was behind this attack and to arrest them," Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement.

“I appreciate the wider concern this incident may cause — particularly amongst others in similar lines of work, and those from Iranian communities."

Iran International spokesman Adam Baillie said the stabbing was “hugely frightening." Although the channel’s journalists have been threatened in the past, this is the first attack of its kind, Baillie told the BBC.

“It was a shocking, shocking incident, whatever the outcome of an investigation reveals," he said.

Mehdi Hosseini Matin, Iran’s charge d’affaires in the UK, said “we deny any link” to the incident.

(AP)


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