ICYMI: U.K. Must Close Network Of Iranian “Cultural” Institutions

(New York, N.Y.) — Earlier this week, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Advisory Board Member Sir Ivor Roberts published an op-ed in The Telegraph arguing that curbing Iran’s campaign of terror and intimidation requires the U.K. to shut down Iranian “cultural” institutions operating within its borders, noting that their continued operations could give a toehold for regime agents to enter and operate within the U.K.

“The overarching goal of these institutions is to amplify the regime’s anti-Western ideology and nurture a base of loyal adherents to advance the regime’s aims. There are at least four such institutions with an active UK presence … These institutions could act as a conduit for Iran to embed IRGC and intelligence operatives in the UK.” 

Sir Ivor specifically points to the Islamic Centre of England (ICEL), the representative office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as problematic. The ICEL operates a religious school which reportedly traffics in incitement against non-Muslims by denigrating them as “filth” akin to “pigs and dogs.” 

Shutting down these institutions is not without precedent in Europe. In March 2022, the German city-state Bremen closed the Al-Mustafa Community Center, citing the organization’s close association with Hezbollah and its calls for acts of terrorism against Israel. Iran founded Hezbollah and provides the group with hundreds of millions of dollars annually, weapons, and training.  

Last week, UANI published its U.K. Iran Policy Recommendations, which outlines additional measures for the U.K. to undertake, including designating the IRGC as a proscribed terrorist organization; leading an effort in the U.N. Security Council to snapback sanctions under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231; downgrading diplomatic relations with Tehran; and sanctioning Iran’s top leadership.  

To read Sir Ivor’s op-ed in The Telegraph, please click here. 

To read UANI’s blog, U.K. Iran Policy Recommendations, please click here. 

To read UANI’s resource, Iran’s Ideological Expansion: United Kingdom (U.K.), please click here.