Guardian sources reveal UK-based Iran International TV’s links to S Arabia

TEHRAN, Oct. 31 (MNA) – A UK-based Iranian TV station is being funded through a secretive offshore entity and a company whose director is a Saudi Arabian businessman with close links to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, sources have revealed to The Guardian.

A source has told The Guardian that Prince Mohammed, believed to be responsible for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is the force behind a UK-based Iranian TV station, Iran International.

The station, which is operating out of Chiswick, has not denied claims that it receives its funding from the Saudi royal court, The Guardian adds.

According to the British daily newspaper, the source claimed Saud al-Qahtani, the crown prince’s information tsar, who was among two senior officials removed in connection with theKhashoggi affair, was involved in the funding behind Iran International TV.

“You could have a larger picture about how those kids [Saudi media moguls] with that money being thrown around [by Prince Mohammed] trying to change the world by buying media … It is money coming from the royal court,” the source said, when speaking about the crown prince.

Volant Media, the company that runs Iran International, has a director named Adel Abdulkarim, who is a Saudi national.

Multiple sources claim Rashed, who is the former general manager of the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya, was also involved in the operations and funding behind Iran International.

According to one source, Saudi Arabia gave $250m (£197m) in funding to help the launch of Iran International, which runs no commercial advertising, The Guardian adds. 

The TV station was criticized this summer for airing extensive live coverage of a rally by the anti-Iran terrorist group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), with links to Saudi Arabia.

In its most recent anti-Iran measure, the UK-based TV channel live broadcast an interview with the spokesman of a terrorist group behind an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, which left 24 innocent Iranians dead and more than 55 others wounded.

Following the move, the Iranian embassy in London filed a lawsuit against ‘Iran International’ at the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom.

The move was strongly criticized by Iranian envoy to London, Hamid Baeidinejad, who wrote in a tweet on the same day that the “heinous act” would be pursued “formally with Ofcom to investigate it as an act in supporting terrorism and violence.”

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.

MS/PR

News Code 139211

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