Pouria Zeraati: Three accused of stabbing Israeli TV host have fled the country | UK | News

Three men suspected of stabbing an Iranian dissident journalist fled the UK hours after the cowardly attack, police have revealed. Tehran has denied being behind the assault on Pouria Zeraati, 36, after he was knifed outside his home.

Counter-terrorism detectives revealed Mr Zeraati two men attacked the journalist, while a third acted as a getaway driver. They abandoned their blue Mazda 3 car in New Malden and travelled to Heathrow Airport. They were said to have left the UK within hours of the assault.

Journalists at Iran International have repeatedly been warned by police of credible threats to their life, and the channel had to temporarily close its British operations last year amid fears of an attack by agents acting for Tehran.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command: “As a result of a very comprehensive investigation, at pace, we have identified three suspects who we believe, left the UK within hours of the attack.

“Detectives trawled CCTV and made extensive enquiries resulting in the identification and recovery of a vehicle used by the suspects to leave the scene.

“We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled to Heathrow Airport and have left the UK. We are now working with international partners to establish further details.

“I must reiterate that we are still at an early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this. All lines of enquiry are being pursued and we are keeping an open mind on any potential motivation for the attack.

“I appreciate the concern this incident has caused, for local people and all those impacted. Additional patrols are continuing in the Wimbledon area and at other locations in London. If you have any concerns, please do speak with these officers

“I am grateful to everyone who has assisted officers with their enquiries or provided witness accounts to police.” Mr Zeraati has since been discharged from hospital.

A source at Iran International said the man then grabbed Zeraati in a “bear hug” before another attacker arrived with a knife and slashed him in the leg.

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