Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Iranian regime supporters threaten exiled dissidents in Britain

Activists in Scotland’s largest city say they have been targeted by the regime

People hold placards and Iranian flags during a protest against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. EPA
People hold placards and Iranian flags during a protest against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. EPA

Anti-Iran protestors are being targeted and threatened by a global network of Iranian spies “actively living and working” in Britain, according to activists.

Individuals have threatened exiles who protest against the regime, particularly in Glasgow’s 6,000 strong Iranian community.

Chairman and co-founder of the Iranian-Scottish Association Firooz Behseresht said threats made to individuals publicly protesting in Britain was instilling suppression and fear in the community.

According to The Times newspaper, sources in Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 have corroborated claims made by activists that the regime is crushing dissident voices.

“MI5 regards Iran as being very active in trying to intimidate and silence dissidents in the UK,” the unidentified source told the newspaper.

Activists claim demonstrations are secretly filmed by individuals supporting the Iranian regime.

British-based activists have been bribed by spies to take large sums of cash in exchange for guaranteeing the safety of family members in Iran, or else face violent intimidation.

Human rights group Amnesty International said Iranian authorities have arrested more than 7,000 activists in the past year, with 26 protestors killed and nine dying in custody.

“Agents of the regime are actively living and working in this country,” said Mr Behseresht. “They are gathering information about individuals, especially refugees and asylum seekers, and they can use threats.”

Iran’s London embassy denied the claims. “It is very distressing that while Islamophobia is at its height, pressure groups are fabricating new phobia against Islamic centres,” the embassy said.

“Such controversial and baseless claims have been repeated in the past, never substantiated with any evidence or document.”

Police Scotland say that any threat to a member of the public will be “fully investigated.”

Updated: May 15, 2019 04:18 PM

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