An investigation in The Times of London has revealed more than six UK-based groups with ties to the Iranian regime and active in pro-Hamas rallies.
It comes amid rising fears that the Iranian regime’s influence on UK soil is deepening, as seen in the weekly pro-Palestine / pro-Hamas protests which have been shown to be fuelled by Tehran-linked groups.
In the latest report from The Times, it claims “Whitehall briefings, informed by intelligence, suggest that Tehran has links to a core group of institutions to assert soft power, drive influence and sow tension”.
It went on to add that a “wider network comprising mosques, charities and other third sector organisations are also thought to have regime links”.
The latest revelations come amid the war between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas, which last weekend saw over 100,000 protesters on the streets of London backing Gaza.
Anti-regime activist Vahid Beheshti, was attacked at the protest, in a suspected act by IRGC agents. He was also assaulted on October 14 by activists carrying images of Khamenei and assassinated Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani. One man was arrested and charged for possessing a knife in public after allegedly threatening to behead him.
One of the organizations, The Times claims, with direct links is the Islamic Centre of England [ICE] which is at the center of an inquiry by the Charity Commission. Another is the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an advocacy group with links to Iran’s supreme council.
Leaflets at last week’s protests contained typically incendiary regime rhetoric about Israel, calling it the “usurper Zionist regime” and as a cancer that would be eradicated. Protesters were even seen holding photos of Supreme Leader, Al Khamenei who recently hailed its proxy for the atrocities on October 7 when it invaded Israel, killing 1,400 mostly civilians and taking a further 240 hostage in Gaza.
As if it were the streets of Tehran, placards could be seen with the words “the Zionist regime is dying” and others even held flags of Iran and its proxy, the Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi militia force.
Just last month UK security chiefs continued to voice concerns about the threat posed by Iran on UK soil. Earlier this year, it was revealed that multiple attacks by the IRGC have been thwarted, including on Iran International offices which were temporarily forced to relocate to Washington.
As regime fervour continued to simmer, The Union of Islamic Student Associations in Europe, which has active branches in Britain and several other European countries, shared a clip of Khamenei’s speech spliced with footage of London protests on Telegram on Wednesday, The Times revealed.
Only in August, the group, which is said to have direct backing from Khamenei, hosted several senior IRGC figures in online talks viewed by British students, who were encouraged to fight in an “apocalyptic war” against Iran’s enemies and Jews.
This week, Khamenei gave a speech mocking the allegations that the regime had its hand in mass protests across Europe, in a speech Wednesday laughing at the idea of the public claiming “the London Basiji must be behind this, or the Paris Basiji must have done this”. Instead, he insinuated it was simply the weight of anti-Israel fever sweeping the streets of Europe.
Behesthti said the actions of recent weeks show ever more the need for the UK and others to proscribe fully Iran’s IRGC as the regime’s threats to the West become ever more feverish. His speech addressed all Muslims around the world that it is not only the "Zionist regime of Israel" that is standing against Islam, but also Britain, France and the United States.
“Khamenei is openly giving an order of Jihad to all Muslims, in order to go after the "enemies of Islam", namely Great Britain, France and the United States, according to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic.
“Yet, given this, our government in the UK is still reluctant to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is a necessary step in order to send a strong message that the UK does not tolerate terrorism and continued threats against our national security.”
The US proscribed the IRGC in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump and while many other nations have designated members, with the sensitivity of Iran’s nuclear program, it has become a global bone of contention for countries such as the UK and Canada as to whether or not to designate the group as a whole.