LONDON, Feb. 20 (AP) — The British government said Monday it has summoned Iran’s top diplomat in Britain after journalists based in the country were targeted for intimidation by Tehran.
The UK Foreign Office said Middle East director Vijay Rangarajan met Iran’s chargé d’affaires Mehdi Hosseini Matin to “make it clear that threats to life and media freedom will not be tolerated in the UK”.
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Foreign Secretary James Cleverley said in a statement: “I am appalled by the Iranian regime’s continued threats to the lives of UK-based journalists and its representatives have been summoned today to make it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.”
On Saturday, London-based Persian-language TV news channel Iran International said it had diverted broadcasts to Washington to protect its journalists after British police told them there was a “serious and immediate threat” to their safety.
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Iran International said the “threat had grown to such an extent that it was no longer considered possible to protect the channel’s staff” or the public around its London studio.
The Metropolitan Police said authorities had foiled “15 plots since early 2022 to kidnap or even kill British nationals or British nationals considered enemies of the regime”, without elaborating.
The BBC has separately lodged a complaint with the United Nations, saying there were growing security concerns for journalists working for its Farsi-language service “in light of extraterritorial threats”.
The foreign ministry also said on Monday it was imposing new sanctions on Iranian officials involved in human rights abuses. Those sanctioned include three top judges who sentenced protesters to death, as well as five commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Britain has imposed sanctions on more than 50 Iranian individuals and entities since September, when the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after being arrested by the Islamic Republic’s morality police sparked a wave of protests and a violent crackdown in Tehran. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)