Iranian journalist stabbed 'multiple times' outside London home shares update as police launch counter-terror probe

30 March 2024, 08:18 | Updated: 30 March 2024, 14:59

Pouria Zeraati has posted a picture of him recovering in hospital
Pouria Zeraati has posted a picture of him recovering in hospital. Picture: Pouria Zeraati
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A counter-terrorism probe has been launched after an Iranian journalist was stabbed 'multiple times' outside of his London home.

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Pouria Zeraati is in a stable condition after being attacked with a knife on Friday, Iran International have said.

His condition is not believed to be life-threatening and no arrests have yet been made after the attack in Wimbledon on Good Friday.

The Met said in a statement the motivation for the attack was not yet clear, though his occupation coupled with recent threats towards UK-based Iranian journalists meant the probe was being led by specialist counter-terrorism officers.

Pouria Zeraati
Pouria Zeraati. Picture: LinkedIn

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and our publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organisation, the investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

"I must stress that, at this early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this.

"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.

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

"We continue to work closely with the victim's organisation and as a precaution we'll have additional patrols in the Wimbledon area as well as other sites around London to provide reassurance over the coming days to those affected and concerned.

"Finally, I would urge anyone in the Wimbledon area who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspiciously today to get in touch with us."

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Since 2022, a number of plots to either kidnap or kill British or UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of the Iranian regime have been disrupted by police, it is understood.

Iran International English posted on X, formerly Twitter, saying: "Iran International's journalist @pouriazeraati has been attacked with a knife outside his house in London.

"He has sustained injuries but is in a stable condition. The matter is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

"The attack comes after the Iranian regime's 2022 plot to kill two @IranIntl television anchors @Sima_Sabet and @FardadFarahzad."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, called the incident a "cowardly attack" and "deeply shocking".

She said: "Our thoughts are with him, his family and all of his colleagues at Iran International. We hope he makes a swift recovery.

"It is too early to know whether this violent assault is connected to the escalating intimidation and harassment by Iran, including the plot to assassinate journalists Fardad Farahzad and Sima Sabet in 2022.

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