TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “The Iranian embassy in London has taken its official lawsuit to ‘Ofcom’ [asking it] to investigate the Iran International TV channel’s illegal move to broadcast an interview with the spokesman of the [al-Ahwaziya] terrorist group,” Iranian ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said in a Monday tweet.
“It [the embassy] has separately requested the UK government to identify members of the terrorist group, ban their activity, and expel them from the country,” he went on to say.
The "al-Ahwaziya", which receives backing mainly from Saudi Arabia, is the terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack on the military parade in Ahvaz, southwest of Iran, killing at least 25 and wounding over 60 innocent people.
Shortly after the attack, the London-based TV channel Iran International allowed the terrorist group’s spokesman to go live on air to justify their heinous crime.
The move was strongly criticized by Baeidinejad on Saturday. “Iran International has shamefully broadcast an interview with the spokesperson of the terrorist group behind today's terrorist attack in Ahwaz. We condemn this heinous act and will pursue formally with Ofcom to investigate it as an act in supporting terrorism and violence,” he said in a tweet.
The Iranian foreign ministry also conveyed the country’s strong protest to the interim British chargé d’affaires in Tehran, who was summoned in the absence of British ambassador.
It was stressed to the UK envoy that in the eyes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is not acceptable, whatsoever, for the spokesperson of the al-Ahwaziya terrorist group to be allowed to claim responsibility for this terrorist act via a London-based TV network,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.
In addition to al-Ahwaziya, the Daesh terrorist group also claimed it was behind the attack and published online purported footage of the assailants.
Three of the four assailants involved in the attack were killed by Iranian security forces, and a fourth one was arrested but later died of the wounds he had sustained during a security chase.
‘Terrorists hideout found, 22 arrested’
In a Monday statement, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced its forces have found the hideout of the terrorists involved in the Saturday attack, and arrested 22 elements in connection with the incident.
According to the statement, the ones arrested provided support for the foreign-backed terrorists.
Some explosives, firearms, military vehicles and communications facilities were also seized from the hideout, the statement added.