Pouria Zeraati: Three suspects of Iranian journalist attack have left UK

Three men suspected of being involved in the stabbing of an Iranian journalist on Friday have left the UK, the Met has said.

Pouria Zeraati, a presenter for Iran International, was stabbed outside his Wimbledon home at around 2.50pm.

He is now in a stable condition and has been discharged from hospital.

In an update, police said Mr Zeraati was approached by two men in a residential street and stabbed before the pair fled in a blue Mazda, driven by a third man.

The car was found abandoned in the New Malden area shortly after.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled to Heathrow Airport and have left the UK. 

Pouria Zeraati in hospital after the attack (Picture: Iran International)

“We are now working with international partners to establish further details.”

The Met said the motivation for the attack remains unclear, but Mr Zeraati’s role at Iran International, coupled with recent threats towards UK-based Iranian journalists, meant the investigation continues to be led by specialist counter-terrorism officers.

The Iranian regime has denied any involvement, the BBC reported.

On Monday Mr Zeraati thanked well wishers in a post on X, he said: “The amount of your sympathy, kindness and love in the past few days has been and is the greatest and best energy for my recovery process.

“Fortunately I am feeling better and recovering.”

In the post Mr Zeraati said he had been moved to a “safe place” with his wife, under supervision of the Met.

A spokesman for the International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights (IOPHR) condemned the incident, which they described as an “attempted assassination”.

Mr Zeraati is the host of the Last Word on Iran International. Set up in 2017, the Persian language channel broadcasts from London but is aimed at Iranian viewers. 

Topics covered by the channel in the past include human rights violations in Iran. 

In February last year, the media group temporarily relocated to Washington DC because of threats to its journalists, and returned to London in September.

The National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “This cowardly attack on Pouria is deeply shocking, and our thoughts are with him, his family and all of his colleagues at Iran International. We hope he makes a swift recovery.

“We will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police and the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, as part of our wider work to stamp out the harassment and targeting of journalists.”

A spokesman from the Met said: “Anyone with information about this incident who has yet to speak with officers is asked to call police on 0800 789 321.”

Pictured top: Pouria Zeraati, host of the Last Word on Iran International (Picture: Iran International)

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