Three accused of TV presenter attack have left UK

2 weeks ago 23

Pouria Zeraati in hospitalImage source, @pouriazeraati

Image caption,

Pouria Zeraati said he was "feeling better" and recovering

By Thomas Mackintosh

BBC News

Three men suspected of being involved in the stabbing of an Iranian TV host in south London have left the UK, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Pouria Zeraati, 36, was stabbed outside his home in Wimbledon on Friday afternoon.

He has since been discharged from hospital.

Cdr Dominic Murphy, said: "We have identified three suspects who we believe left the UK within hours of the attack."

Detectives have established Mr Zeraati was approached by two men in a residential street and stabbed before the pair fled in a blue Mazda 3 driven by a third male.

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

"We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled to Heathrow Airport and have left the UK," Cdr Murphy said in an update.

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

He added the Met was not yet able to provide further information about any motive, but Mr Zeraati's occupation, coupled with recent threats towards UK-based Iranian journalists, meant the investigation continued to be led by counter-terrorism officers.

The Iranian regime has denied any involvement.

Image source, Iran International

Image caption,

Pouria Zeraati is the television host of the Last Word program on Iran International

On Monday, Mr Zeraati thanked well-wishers for their "sympathy, kindness and love in the past few days".

"Fortunately, I am feeling better, recovering and I have been discharged from the hospital," he posted on X.

"My wife and I are residing at a safe place under the supervision of the Met Police."

Mr Zeraati, the host of the Last Word on Iran International, claimed the suspects had purposefully planned the attack.

Iran International says it provides independent coverage of events in the country, but the regime in Tehran has declared it a terrorist organisation.

The channel's spokesman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had been targeting journalists and their families.

Adam Baillie said: "It was a shocking, shocking incident, whatever the outcome of an investigation reveals.

"But for him as a leading presenter, as with our other presenters and journalists, yes, it is a great shock.

"It's the first attack of its kind."

Iran's charge d'affaires in the UK, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, said "we deny any link".

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