Iran is more and more interfering with the UK to realize its goals and should now be seen as a top-tier menace, British assume tank the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) warned.
The actions embrace encouraging Scottish separatism and assaults in opposition to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and international counter-terrorism efforts, in response to a 100-page report (pdf) revealed by the HJS on Monday.
The report, authored by the assume tank’s counter-terrorism and British jihadism skilled Paul Stott, stated the Iranian regime is “a dictatorial regime that seeks to propagate its personal interpretation of Islam globally to be able to safe most politico-religious benefit.”
The report stated the regime has sought to intrude within the constitutional integrity of the UK with on-line disinformation and faux web sites, in addition to utilizing bodily means to obtain its goals.
It additionally cited a number of examples of Iranian actions in different nations, together with Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat in Vienna who was convicted for planning to bomb a rally of the Nationwide Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in France in June 2018, endangering hundreds of attendees together with a British delegation of 35 and senior U.S. politicians comparable to Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich.
“The Iranian authorities is a hostile one. It holds British residents hostage, utilizing them as bargaining chips,” Stott said in a statement, referring to various British-Iranian nationals who’re or have been imprisoned in Iran, together with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who’s arguably essentially the most high-profile.
Iran additionally “seeks to intrude within the constitutional preparations of the UK, by way of the instrument of on-line disinformation,” Stott stated. “Right here Iran should now be seen as a top-tier menace, with related intentions to Russia.”
“Whatever the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear ambitions, Iran additionally seeks to weaken our social cohesion, selling its personal stripe of Shia Islam at establishments within the UK,” Stott added. “Greater than three a long time on from the fatwa in opposition to Salman Rushdie, little has modified.”
Rushdie is a British-American author, whose life has been endangered after the Iranian regime in 1989 issued a fatwa—a authorized opinion rendered by an Islamic scholar—in opposition to him over his novel “The Satanic Verses.”
Stott referred to as his report “an investigation, audit, and evaluation of Iranian affect networks in the UK.”
It recognized seven areas the place Iran has or seeks to determine affect networks, together with in politics, faith, the media, cultural networks, the Iranian diaspora, training and academia, and enterprise and finance.
Stott cited examples of how Iran has “put appreciable effort” into creating political relationships with pro-independence Scottish politicians, supported Irish republicanism in Northern Eire, and manoeuvred its means into each the far left and the far proper.