Cleverly summons Iranian diplomat following ‘threats’ to UK-based journalists

Iran’s most senior diplomat in Britain was summoned to the Foreign Office after police received “credible information” about a threat to the lives of journalists in the UK, the Government said.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he ordered officials to call in the Iranian charge d’affaires to make clear “intimidation of any kind” towards members of the press would not be tolerated.

The Metropolitan Police have contacted a number of UK-based journalists in recent years, having received credible information about a threat to their lives, according to the Foreign Office.

It is understood the meeting with the Iranian diplomat, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, took place on Friday afternoon.

In a statement, Mr Cleverly said: “The UK will always stand up to threats from foreign nations.

“I summoned the Iranian representative today to make clear that we do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the UK.”

It comes after Iran International, a UK-based Persian-language news channel, said two of its team had been notified of a rise in threats towards them.

“The UK Met Police have now formally notified both journalists that these threats represent an imminent and significant risk to their lives and those of their families,” it said.

The channel added that other staff members have “also been informed directly” by the Met of “separate threats”.

Conservative MP Bob Blackman warned MPs of “credible threats” to British-Iranian journalists in the UK in the House of Commons earlier this week.

The MP for Harrow East urged the British Government to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.