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‘Role of UK-based anti-Iran media outlets akin to terrorist groups; London is responsible’ : Iranian rights official

Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi speaks to reporters in New York, on November 14, 2022.

A senior Iranian human rights official has slammed the British government’s support for the “unlawful” anti-Iran campaign waged by the Persian-language media outlets, saying the role of these UK's state-funded anti-Iran outlets is no less than that of terrorist groups.

“In fact, the anti-Iran Persian-language media’s moves are completely contrary to the laws and regulations, and we hold the British government responsible in this regard,” Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi told reporters in New York on Monday.

Gharibabadi, who is also the deputy chief of the Iranian Judiciary, said British media regulator Ofcom must investigate such media violations which are supported by the British government.

He added that the role of anti-Iran media outlets is no less than that of terrorist groups or their members, as they have incited violence, crime, insecurity and terrorist acts across Iran.

Pointing to Iran’s recent designation of the London-based news network Iran International as a “terrorist organization” for instigating deadly riots in Iran following the death of a young Iranian woman two months ago, the Iranian official warned that the same fate also awaits the UK’s state-funded BBC Persian.

Gharibabadi further noted that in his talks with representatives from some 100 countries, he explained that the UK’s state-funded BBC Persian and Saudi-funded Iran International have conducted hundreds of interviews with members of separatist and terrorist groups who incited violent and criminal acts in Iran.

The talks focused on giving correct and true explanations about developments in Iran and what is called “peaceful” gatherings by some Western countries and the United States, he said.

Riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later in hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization has concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Rioters went on a rampage, brutally attacking security officers and causing massive damage to public property as Western powers, especially the United States, provided support.

The European Union and some Western countries have imposed sanctions on Iran over its approach toward the recent riots. Iran, in turn, announced tit-for-tat sanctions against institutions and individuals in the European Union due to their deliberate actions in support of terrorism and terrorist groups.

Earlier in the month, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the United States and the United Kingdom were “directly” involved in the unrest, adding that dozens of terrorists affiliated with the Israeli regime and anti-revolution groups have also been detained in the unrest.

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