BBC London Team Faces Alarming Threats

( – Staff at the BBC’s London bureau say that Iran is targeting both them and their families in Iran with intimidating messages, outright threats, detainment, and physical violence. With the recent developments in Israel involving the alleged Iranian proxy known as Hamas, many are expecting to see an uptick in the number of Iran-based threats against Western journalists.

According to an October 16th piece from The Guardian, reporters at the BBC’s London-based Farsi news outlet are being subjected to a targeted campaign of international harassment. Many of the outlet’s naturalized employees were originally born in Iran and still have family there. The reporters in question allege that both they and their families by extension have ended up in the sights of the Iranian government.

One of the Iranian-British writers who was interviewed for the story said she has received “numerous threats.” In one such case, the reporter said the message conveyed the “very deep” nature of the River Thames beneath “Westminster Bridge.” She said the note’s writer threatened that it did not matter that she no longer lived in Iran.

The nameless reporter said her young children have been targeted in writing a number of times as well. “I left Iran to seek freedom,” she said, “Now I’m afraid of even going for a jog by myself.” The Persian-born journalist said she has been warned by apparent agents of Iran that they can find her home address and her children’s school.

According to a number of reports, Iran has been targeting journalists with BBC Persian for at least the last ten years. The tactic they employ has come to be called transnational repression. By threatening those in the media, they reportedly hope to stifle coverage the Iranian mullahs deem to be unfriendly.

Outside of their alleged targeting of journalists, Iran is well-known for arresting ex-nationals on what many consider to be fabricated espionage charges.

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