A man who held a 72-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office demanding Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be proscribed has had a fatwa ordering his death issued by one of the regime’s clerics.

Vahid Beheshti claims his high profile campaign, which saw him personally deliver a letter to King Charles at Buckingham Palace, has so enraged the Iranian regime that an imam has issued the chilling proclamation.

Despite the 46-year-old journalist and campaigner’s life being at risk, he has insisted he will continue his protest to try to persuade the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to outlaw the IRGC.

Mr Beheshti learned about the fatwa from sources in Iran while being treated in hospital after becoming ill during his hunger strike.

“I’ve been told by counter terrorism police not to go home to Coventry,” he said on Saturday at the encampment he set up outside the Foreign Office 115 days ago. “So, here is probably the safest place in the UK for me – if I’m not safe here, I’m not safe anywhere.

“I’m not going anywhere until I get this done.”

For 72 days he held a hunger strike, surviving on a diet of just water, coffee, salt and sugar cubes.

Last month, he was rushed to hospital after being overcome by palpitations and nausea.

“It was my body telling me enough is enough,” he said, adding how he lost nearly 40lbs (18kg) – a fifth of his body weight.

His wife, Mattie Heaven, a Conservative councillor in Coventry, insists her husband’s campaign is about protecting British values from the far-reaching powers of a totalitarian regime.

“We are, like others, living in fear and having to watch our backs in this democratic country,” she said. “There are IRGC agents operating in the UK, so this is a domestic issue.”

During the hunger strike they both attended a royal coronation tea party at Buckingham Palace.

“I met Camilla,” he said, explaining how his wife’s invitation, which preceded his campaign, gave him the opportunity to hand deliver a letter to King Charles.

He has also met Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, as well Richard Ratcliffe, who held a 20-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office to campaign for the release of his wife Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe.

“My ultimate aim is to get rid of the Iranian regime. But, this is the first step,” he added. In February, Iran International, a TV station which is critical of the regime, suspended its London-based operations in Chiswick after being advised its journalists’ lives were under threat. The station will continue to operate from its offices in Washington DC.
Multiple plots foiled

Just hours later, British police and security services revealed they had foiled 15 plots by Iran to either kidnap or kill people in the UK it considered “enemies of the regime”.

Matt Jukes, head of counter-terrorism policing at the Metropolitan Police, said the “workload in investigating threats from foreign states had quadrupled over the past two years.”

He added: “Officers from counter-terrorism policing alongside local officers and other specialists from the Met continue to work in response to potential threats projected from Iran against a number of UK-based individuals.”

Although the Home Office is the ministry that proscribes organisations, it is understood the Foreign Office is reluctant to back such a move amid fears it could affect its diplomatic aims in Tehran.

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman can proscribe an organisation if she believes it participates, prepares or promotes terrorism and poses a threat to the UK or British nationals overseas. Anyone in the UK found to be an agent for a proscribed organisation faces up to 14 years in jail.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not tolerate threats to life, or intimidation of any kind towards individuals in the UK and will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to protect against any such activity.”

Source » msn