Police investigating stabbing of Iranian journalist won't say where suspects could be

Pouria Zeraati was stabbed outside his Wimbledon home in March. Credit: Iran International

Detectives investigating the stabbing on an Iranian journalist outside his south London home have said they are "making various international inquiries".

However, police looking into the attack on Iran International reporter Pouria Zeraati have not said which country they believe the attackers have fled to due to "sensitivities" in the case.

Mr Zeraati was taken to hospital with an injury to his leg after he was stabbed outside his house in Wimbledon in late-March, and was discharged the following week.

While the Metropolitan Police said the motivation for the attack was unclear, specialist counter-terrorism officers were called in to investigate due to his occupation and recent threats made to UK-based Iranian journalists.

Iran International, a London-based dissident channel, said it had received previous threats from Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and pointed to a 2022 plot to kill two of its anchors, Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad which was exposed by ITV News.

Iran has denied any involvement in either of the cases.

Police said three people suspected of attacking Mr Zeraati had fled the country via Heathrow Airport within hours of the attack.

The Met Police's reference to "various international inquiries" suggests a possibility that the suspects could be in a number of countries.

Mr Zeraati in hospital. Credit: Pouria Zeraati/X

In a statement to ITV News, Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: “We know that the three men headed to Heathrow airport soon after the attack and then left the UK.

"We’ve collected significant amounts of CCTV footage, a number of witness statements, as well as forensic evidence from the vehicle which we identified and recovered.

"We are also making various international enquiries, but as I’m sure the public will understand, given the sensitivities with this case, we are not able to provide further details at the current time. “In terms of motivation for the attack, we still retain an open mind. We are aware that there is speculation that the attack may be linked to a foreign state, and we are keeping that under consideration, but we are also not ruling out other potential motivations at this stage either. As with all investigations, we will follow where the evidence takes us.

“Officers remain in close contact with the victim in this case, and we continue to provide him and others with appropriate support and advice in relation to safety and security.

"We also ask anyone who might have information about this incident, who we haven’t already spoken with, to come forwards, and I would like to thank those with whom we have already spoken.” Anyone with information about this incident who has yet to speak with officers is asked to call police on 0800 789 321, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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