Unidentified men stab Iran-based journalist in London street

After sustaining knife wounds in the attack, he was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

In a tragic incident, an Iranian journalist working for an opposition media organisation in Iran was stabbed in London on Friday, March 29. The British anti-terrorism police is actively investigating the reason for the assault.

The victim, identified as Pouria Zeraati, is the host of Iran International’s Final Word. He was attacked by several unidentified miscreants while leaving his house in Wimbledon, the UK-based agency reported.

After sustaining knife wounds in the attack, he was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

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The Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism chief, Commander Dominic Murphy, said, “While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and out-publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organization, 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,” he noted.

Murphy further said, “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,” he added.

Before taking Zeraati to the hospital, a local ambulance service paramedic treated him at the scene. Fortunately, his condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

General Secretary for the National Union of Journalists Michelle Stanistreet said, “This cowardly attack on Pouria is deeply shocking, and 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,” he said, adding that “this brutal stabbing will inevitably raise fears amongst journalists targeted at Iran International and the BBC Persian Service that they are not safe at home or going about their work.”

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