Israeli security officials have reportedly given intelligence to the United Kingdom claiming that Iran intends to harm journalists at a London-based opposition channel, leading the channel to move its operations from London to Washington, according to a Hebrew media report.

Israel’s Channel 12 said on Monday that the Persian-language Iran International TV immediately instructed its workers to avoid their office, then closed them.

British Deputy Home Secretary Tom Tugendhat described the Iranian threats as a “direct attack” on British freedoms and an attempt to “undermine British sovereignty.

He added that Iran International will not remain silent in the face of “cowardly threats” from an authoritarian regime, and that the UK will continue to provide the channel with full support to ensure it continues to operate safely from Britain.

For its part, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported yesterday that the British government had summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in London to protest against the alleged threats.

For its part, Iran International TVsaid in a statement that the decision to relocate broadcasts from London to Washington was due to a “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran”.

“Threats had grown to the point that it was felt it was no longer possible to protect the channel’s staff,” it said.

In November, the Metropolitan Police warned of serious and imminent threats to the lives of the channel’s journalists, which has since led to placing the channel’s office in West London under armed police protection.

Source » middleeastmonitor