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LONDON: A UK-BASED journalist for Iran International has been released from hospital following an attack outside his London home. 

Pouria Zeraati, a presenter for the independent Persian-language outlet, sustained leg injuries after the incident outside his home in Wimbledon, southwest London, last Friday.

London’s Metropolitan Police said on Monday that Zeraati had been discharged from hospital and its counter-terrorism unit had made progress investigating the stabbing.

A spokesman said while the motive behind the attack was unclear, the victim’s occupation as a journalist at a Persian-language media organization based in the UK was being considered.

Mehdi Hosseini Matin, Iran’s charge d’affaires in the UK, said on Saturday that Tehran denied “any link” to the incident.

Zeraati has said the attack was planned. In a post on X, the 36-year-old journalist wrote: “I am feeling better, recovering & I have been discharged from the hospital. My wife and I are residing at a safe place under the supervision of the Met Police.”

The Met says it has disrupted plots in the UK to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of Tehran.

An investigation by UK broadcaster ITV exposed an operation targeting Iran International TV anchors Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad, codenamed “the bride and the groom.” The plan was foiled by a double agent in November 2022.

In December, Chechen national Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev was convicted in a UK court of gathering information on Iran International’s London headquarters for a potential terror attack, prompting the outlet to temporarily relocate to Washington DC. Broadcasting resumed from London in a high-security studio last September.

The attack on Zeraati followed the network’s report on leaked top-secret intelligence documents, revealing Tehran’s targeting of UK-based Iran International TV personnel and their family members. 

The Iranian government has labeled the outlet a terrorist organization after it covered protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in 2022 following her arrest in Tehran for an alleged dress code violation.

Last year, the UK government introduced stricter sanctions against Iran for alleged human rights violations and hostile actions against its opponents on UK soil.

With AFP