Pouria Zeraati: Iranian journalist ‘lost a lot of blood’ in stabbing outside home in suspected ‘state-sponsored attack’ | UK News


An Iranian journalist has described the moment he was stabbed outside his home in what he believes was a state-sponsored attack.

Pouria Zeraati, a 36-year-old presenter at London-based broadcaster Iran International, was attacked by three unknown assailants in Wimbledon on 29 March.

In his first live interview, Mr Zeraati told Sky News’ The World With Yalda Hakim he “lost a lot of blood” in the stabbing.

Pouria Zeraati shares photo of himself from hospital bed after being stabbed. Pic: X / @pouriazeraati
Pouria Zeraati shared photo of himself from his hospital bed after being stabbed. Pic: X/ @pouriazeraati

He said he was walking towards his car when a man came up to him and asked for £3 in cash.

When Mr Zeraati replied that he did not have any change a second man approached and “grabbed me from the front very firmly”.

At that point, he said the first person “stabbed me in the leg, the back side of my leg in my thigh, and very fast they ran away”.

The journalist said at first he thought he had been robbed, but then realised he still had his phone, watch and wallet – and instead believed the attack may have been something to do with his job.

Mr Zeraati said he thought the men were trying to harm rather than kill him.

He said: “Because [of] the way they were holding me, and then they stabbed me in my leg – they could stab anywhere in my body. They could stab in my neck, they could stab in my heart. There are places specifically that people [aim for to] make sure the target is dead.”

Pouria Zeraati. Pic: Iran International
Pic: Iran International

The Metropolitan Police said no arrests have yet been made.

The force said it is confident the three suspects “do not present a risk to communities of London or the UK,” as detectives believe they fled the country via Heathrow Airport within hours of the stabbing.

Mr Zeraati said: “It looks like a state-sponsored attack, but we need to wait for more investigation results to come out”.

‘Situation is concerning’

Mr Zeraati, who returned to TV a week after the attack, said he was recovering and “feeling much better physically”.

But he added: “Mentally it definitely takes some time to get over it”.

Asked about his safety, he said: “Of course I am worried and I am concerned. We are under protection right now. I am not even allowed to visit my friends. The whole situation is concerning.

“But if it was done to scare me and silence me, then definitely it’s not working. This was an attack on the job I do, this was an attack against the platform I have.”

When asked about the attack, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, the Iranian charge d’affaires in the UK, said: “We deny any link”.

‘State-backed threats’

Iran International editor Niusha Boghrati previously told Sky News that the station was guarded by armed police, and said threats had “turned into a reality of terrorism”.

The broadcaster temporarily shut down its operations in London early last year and moved to studios in Washington after what it described as an escalation of “state-backed threats from Iran”.

The station resumed broadcasting from a new location in London last September.

A Chechen-born man was jailed in December after being found guilty of spying on Iran International to help terror plotters.

Read original article here.

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