UK FM Cleverly summons Iran envoy in London
Newslooks- LONDON (AP)
Britain’s foreign minister summoned Iran’s top diplomat in London on Friday to protest alleged threats against journalists in the U.K.
The Foreign Office said that in recent years London’s Metropolitan Police has “contacted a number of U.K.-based journalists, having received credible information about a threat to their lives.”
It didn’t identify the journalists, but U.K-based Farsi-language satellite news channel Iran International said earlier this week that police had told two of its journalists about “an imminent, credible and significant risk to their lives and those of their families.” It said the threats came from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he had summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, “to make clear that we do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the U.K.”
It comes after Iran International, the independent UK-based Farsi-language news channel, released a statement on alleged threats from Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards.
“Two of our British-Iranian journalists have, in recent days, been notified of an increase in the threats to them,” the statement said.
“The Metropolitan Police have now formally notified both journalists that these threats represent an imminent, credible and significant risk to their lives and those of their families.
“Other members of our staff have also been informed directly by the Metropolitan Police of separate threats.
“But these threats to life of British-Iranian journalists working in the UK marks a significant and dangerous escalation of a state-sponsored campaign to intimidate Iranian journalists working abroad.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “The UK will always stand up to threats from foreign nations.
“I summoned the Iranian representative today to make clear that we do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the UK.”
It comes after nationwide demonstrations in Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September, after she was detained for alleged violations of the country’s strict dress code.
The protests have become the greatest threat to the Iranian government since the 2009 Green Movement demonstrations. International pressure is also being applied to the government over its treatment of protesters.
Demonstrations have evolved from focusing on women’s rights and the state-mandated headscarf, to calls to oust Shiite clerics who have ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The demonstrations have involved more than 125 cities; at least 270 people have been killed and nearly 14,000 have been arrested, according to the Human Rights Activists group in Iran.