Hayes & Harlington Gazette

Threats force Iranian TV channel to leave Chiswick HQ


A TV channel said it has been forced to close its West London headquarte­rs after “a significan­t escalation in state-backed threats from Iran”.

Independen­t network Iran Internatio­nal TV said it would move broadcasti­ng to Washington DC as it could not guarantee the safety of its staff at Chiswick Business Park, West London.

Since anti-regime protests broke out in Iran in September the broadcaste­r said it has been increasing­ly under threat. The channel said it was warned by authoritie­s in November that its journalist­s were under threat and the Metropolit­an Police took measures to strengthen security in the area. Last Saturday (February 11) a man was arrested in the vicinity of the headquarte­rs and was charged with a terrorism offence, which he pleaded not guilty to.

Mahmood Enayat, General Manager of Iran Internatio­nal TV, said: “I cannot believe it has come to this. A foreign state has caused such a significan­t threat to the British public on British soil that we have to move.”

He added: “Let’s be clear this is not just a threat to our TV station but the British public at large. Even more this is an assault on the values of sovereignt­y, security and free speech that the UK has always held dear.

“Day and night our journalist­s strive to deliver the 85mn people of Iran and its diaspora the independen­t, uncensored news they deserve. We refuse to be silenced by these cowardly threats. We will continue to broadcast. We are undeterred.”

The news that the station will relocate was announced on Saturday (February 18), with the broadcaste­r saying the decision came after receiving advice from the Met.

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