Iran protests: Armed Met Police guard Iranian journalists facing death threats Published




There is a heavy presence of armed police in Chiswick, West London.  Black, multi-role armoured vehicles called Jankels are positioned at intervals alongside Met Police armed response vehicles, fully crewed-up with armed officers inside.


They are guarding every approach to the plate-glass building that houses the offices of Iran International, an independent Farsi-language news channel that has incurred the fury of Iran’s regime.


“This has to be the biggest armed police operation around a commercial building in this country that I can think of,” says a spokesman for Iran International.


It is certainly reminiscent of Tony Blair’s deployment of armoured vehicles to Heathrow in February 2003 in response to a perceived terror threat.


it’s recorded that, it’s Founded in 2017 by a former BBC Persian journalist, Iran International broadcasts into Iran by satellite.

It has been providing 24-hour rolling news coverage of the huge street protests that have engulfed Iran since the death in police custody of 22-year old Mahsa Amini, allegedly arrested for not wearing her hijab head covering correctly.


Many of the protests have been calling for an end to the oppressive rule of the Islamic Republic.


But instead of listening to people’s demands, the authorities in Iran have arrested thousands and accused Western nations and the free media they host of stirring up the protests and provoking unrest.


So far, so familiar. That has been the refrain each time protests in Iran have erupted, but this time it’s different.


Not only are the protests significantly more widespread, but the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the real power behind the regime, has been targeting Iranian opposition journalists based in Britain.


“Iran projects threat to the UK directly, through its aggressive intelligence services,” says Ken McCallum, the director-general of MI5, the UK security service.


“At its sharpest, this includes ambitions to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of the regime. We have seen at least 10 such potential threats since January alone.”



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