A screengrab of UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron's interview with Fox News

UK Foreign Secretary Reacts to Iran International TV Anchor Stabbing

Thursday, 04/11/2024

Britain has taken “strongest” measures against those hired by Tehran to target Iranians on British soil, UK foreign secretary David Cameron said Wednesday in the first government reaction to the stabbing of Iran International's presenter Pouria Zeraati.

Zeraati, who hosts a show on the UK-based broadcaster Iran International, was stabbed earlier this month as he left home for work. He survived the attack with leg injuries and chose to go back on air after a few days in hospital. 

The attack raised further questions about the ability of the UK government to protect its citizens of Iranian origin against a state that seeks to intimidate or kill them because they dare to speak against it. 

“We've taken the strongest possible steps against these thugs that get hired by the Iranian regime and attack people on British soil,” UK foreign secretary David Cameron told Fox News in an interview Wednesday. “We not only have arrested and prosecuted people, but also we've called it out very publicly."

The British government, much like the governments of the United States and the EU, has long faced criticism for its unwillingness to confront an increasingly aggressive state that is fast approaching the nuclear threshold, sponsors armed groups (from Iraq to Lebanon and from Syria to Yemen) to further its interests in the region, and pays criminals to silence those it doesn’t like.

The British foreign secretary was asked about his government’s plans to proscribe Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, since it’s widely believed to be the source of most, if not all, such activities –be it in the Red Sea or on the streets of London. 

“We haven't proscribed or broken relations with the Iranian government altogether,” Cameron said. “The fact is I have relations with the Iranian foreign minister. I can deliver very direct messages to him about the unacceptable behavior of his country. And frankly, as a foreign secretary, I'd rather do that myself than have to ask my French counterpart or German counterparts to do it on my behalf.

"Iranian activists in the diaspora have been campaigning to get the UK and EU to add the IRGC to their terror list. It has been on US Foreign Terrorist Organization list since April 2019.

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