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Israel allegedly warned UK of threat to anti-regime journalists from Tehran- Reports

Israeli security officials provided the United Kingdom with intelligence indicating that Iran intended to harm journalists at a London-based opposition news station, prompting them to move the broadcast to Washington, according to a Hebrew media report.

Channel 12 reported on Monday, without citing sources, that after receiving Israeli warnings on Friday, Iran International immediately instructed its workers to avoid its office and then shut down over the weekend.

The broadcaster described the decision after London’s Metropolitan Police said “of the existence of serious and imminent threats to the safety of Iranian journalists” working there.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The alleged targeting of Iran International comes at a time when Tehran has also long harassed members of the BBC’s Persian service for their work reporting on the country. But threats against Persian-language networks that broadcast abroad have grown exponentially as they cover the nationwide protests that have rocked Iran since September — providing information that would otherwise not be heard on the Islamic Republic’s state-controlled television and radio networks.

The British government summoned Iran’s top diplomat to London on Monday to denounce “serious threats” to the lives of journalists.

Charge d’affaires Mehdi Hosseini Matin was summoned “to make it clear that the UK will not tolerate threats to life and media freedom,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

“I am appalled by the Iranian regime’s continued threats against the lives of British journalists and have today called on their representative to make it clear that this will not be tolerated,” Cleverly added.

“The UK will always stand up to countries that threaten our core values ​​of freedom of expression and the media.”

The diplomat, Iran’s top representative in London in the ambassador’s absence, has been ordered to meet the head of the British Foreign Office’s Middle East department.

London’s Metropolitan Police said on Saturday that, working with the MI5 spy agency, it had foiled 15 plots since the start of 2022 “to either kidnap or even kill” people deemed to be “enemies of the (Iranian) regime”.

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