Saudi-funded, anti-Iran network moves operations from London to Washington DC
Iran International has been at the center of several disinformation campaigns against the Islamic Republic in recent years
By News Desk - February 19 2023

(Photo credit: Iran International)

Iran International announced on 18 February that it was moving its live broadcasting studios to the US capital due to alleged “threats” from the Islamic Republic.

“After a significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran and advice from the Metropolitan Police, Iran International TV says it has reluctantly closed its London studios and moved broadcasting to Washington DC,” the channel said in a statement.

“A foreign state has caused such a significant threat to the British public on British soil that we have to move. Let’s be clear this is not just a threat to our TV station but the British Public at large,” the statement by the Saudi-funded outlet reads.

The decision by the western-backed organization was announced just three days after London police charged an Austrian national with a terrorism offense after being detained in Chiswick Business Park, the location of Iran International’s headquarters.

Iran International has been one of the primary sources of disinformation against Tehran over recent years. The organization was highly active in providing wall-to-wall coverage of anti-government protests and deadly riots that rocked Iran last year.

In November, they were at the center of a social media storm that falsely alleged Iran had “sentenced 15,000 protesters to death.”

In their coverage of the protests, Iran International often used information provided by the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) — the media arm of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI). This group receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The NED is a CIA soft power front that has for decades funded regime-change efforts across the globe.

Last month, Iran International was responsible for a significant fake news blunder by reporting that Iranian national Hassan Firouzi was “tortured into a coma” by security forces.

Firouzi was caught just days later trying to flee Iran due to the large amounts of money he owed to lenders. It was later revealed he fabricated the story of his arrest, death sentence, and torture to capitalize on the anti-Iran coverage in the west.

A 2018 investigation by The Guardian showed that the anti-Iran outlet “is funded through a secretive offshore entity and a company whose director is a Saudi Arabian businessman with close links to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

“A source has told the Guardian that Prince Mohammed, who many believe is responsible for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is the force behind Iran International. The station, which is operating out of Chiswick, has not denied claims that it receives its funding from the Saudi royal court,” The Guardian report goes on to say.

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