Exclusive Iran journalist Pouria Zeraati says living in safe house since London stabbing attack

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Iranian-British journalist Pouria Zeraati, who was stabbed outside his London home in late March, has said that he has been residing in a safe house under police protection following the assault.

Zeraati, a presenter for Persian-language news channel Iran International, needed hospital treatment for leg wounds suffered in the London attack on March 29.

Tehran has declared London-based Iran International a terrorist organization, but has denied any links to the incident.

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“[After] I was discharged, we were moved to a safe house by the police under the supervision of Metropolitan Police. And we’ve been living there since then with my wife with a lot of limitations, which is not pleasant, obviously,” Zeraati, 36, told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview.

Zeraati described the stabbing as a “warning shot.”

London police have said two suspects went straight from the scene in southwest London to Heathrow Airport and left “within a few hours.” Detectives were considering whether “the victim’s occupation could have prompted the assault.”

Zeraati said he believed the attack was linked to his job.

“For the first few moments, I was thinking, it’s a robbery, but I noticed my mobile phone is with me. My AirPods are with me. I have my watch in my hands still, and the wallet with cash in it. So at that moment it clicked, that this is related to my job and the threats I’ve been facing, in the last few months especially, and I called the police,” he said.

Zeraati said that he has been recovering “well and fast.”

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday urged the UK government to better protect Iranian journalists being targeted with “chilling” repression by Tehran.

RSF said almost 90 percent of Iranian journalists surveyed had reported experiencing online threats or harassment, including death and rape threats, in the last five years.

The UK government last year unveiled tougher sanctions against Iran over alleged human rights violations and hostile actions against its opponents in Britain.

Read more: Suspects behind stabbing of Iranian host in UK fled country after attack: Police

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