Iran has become one of the biggest threats to UK national security, the British home secretary warned on Sunday.

Suella Braverman expressed concern over reports that Iranian intelligence agents are recruiting members of criminal gangs to take out regime opponents, with a Home Office source telling The Sunday Times that the threat from Tehran “worries us the most.”

“It’s a big issue because they are getting much more aggressive and their appetite is increasing,” the source said.

“They are very defensive to anyone challenging their regime and just want to stamp it out. They are increasing their agitation.”

Iran’s most senior diplomat in Britain has been summoned by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly after threats were made against journalists living in the UK.

Ahead of that, Director General of MI5 Ken McCallum said that Iran’s intelligence services have made at least 10 attempts to kidnap or even kill British nationals or individuals based in the United Kingdom regarded by Tehran as a threat.

In February, a plan to ban IRGC in the UK for being a terrorist organization has been temporarily shelved by the government upon the objection of Cleverly.

According to The Sunday Times’ report, the regime in Tehran has close links with the Islamic Students Association of Britain, which is based at a former Methodist church in west London.

The Association is currently holding discussions with Iranian government officials and hardline clerics, added the report.

In January, Mohammad Hussain Ataee, a former chairman of the Association and a master’s degree student at the University of Bradford, made a trip to Tehran. He met Khamenei there and there is a picture of him kneeling solemnly before him (84). He later received a ‘blessed’ keffiyeh.

The Association’s Telegram channel had reportedly made posts praising Qasem Soleimani, who was a senior military officer in the Revolutionary Guards, and was killed by the US. These posts described Soleimani as a “leader of “resistance.”

Another prominent Iranian figure, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who is the assassinated chief scientist of Iran’s nuclear program was lauded in these posts.

The Students’ Association hosted online discussions between senior commanders from the IRGC and Muslim students at British universities, revealed The Sunday Times.

Earlier this year, the Islamic Center of England, affiliated with the Iranian Embassy, has been shuttered after using its premises to praise Soleimani. Investigations are still ongoing.

In April, the UK imposed sanctions on IRGC commanders for their role in the protests crackdown in September.

Alicia Kearns, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said: “The proscription of the IRGC would allow us to prosecute those working on its behalf to sow discord, incite hatred and support terror activities and assassinations on British soil.”

“There is more and more evidence of the IRGC’s campaigns of transnational repression — we cannot afford not to act.”

Source » aawsat