Broadcaster employing stabbed journalist faced ‘heavy threats’ from Tehran before the attack

Counter-terrorism police are investigating the attack on Pouria Zeraati after the incident outside his home in south London, ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports

Tehran’s revolutionary guards have been targeting broadcaster Iran International, a spokesman said after a leading journalist was stabbed in London.

Counter-terrorism police are investigating the attack on Pouria Zeraati, who is in a stable condition after he was stabbed outside his home in Wimbledon, south London on Friday.

Iran International spokesman Adam Baillie said the incident was “hugely frightening” but Mr Zeraati was “doing very well” and recovering in hospital.

Mr Zeraati posted a picture of himself from hospital at 1pm on Saturday with a peace sign emoji.

The London-based dissident channel aims to provide independent coverage of Iran, but the Tehran regime has declared it a terrorist organisation.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been targeting journalists and their families, Mr Baillie said.

Iran’s charge d’affaires in the UK Mehdi Hosseini Matin said “we deny any link” to the incident.

The Metropolitan Police said the motivation for Friday’s attack was not yet clear, but Mr Zeraati’s occupation coupled with recent threats towards UK-based Iranian journalists meant the probe was being led by specialist counter-terrorism officers.

Mr Baillie said: “It was a shocking, shocking incident, whatever the outcome of an investigation reveals.

“But for him as a leading presenter, as with our other presenters and journalists, yes, it is a great shock.

“It’s the first attack of its kind.”

Police and paramedics were called to an address in south London at 2.49pm on Friday after a man in his 30s suffered an injury to his leg, the Metropolitan Police said.

Pouria Zeraati Credit: Iran International

Iran International English posted on X, formerly Twitter, saying: “Iran International’s journalist @pouriazeraati has been attacked with a knife outside his house in London.

“He has sustained injuries but is in a stable condition. The matter is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

“The attack comes after the Iranian regime’s 2022 plot to kill two @IranIntl television anchors @Sima_Sabet and @FardadFarahzad.”

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Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and our publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organisation, the investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

“I must stress that, at this early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this.

"While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of enquiry and our priority at this time is to try and identify whoever was behind this attack and to arrest them."