In Britain There Are a Number of Organizations Affiliated with Iran Which Deal with Exporting the Islamic Revolution.

Issued on: 19/06/2012 Type: Article

Sheikh Shabbir Hassanally, the most prominent figure in the English branch of the Iranian World AhlulBayt Islamic Assembly, one of the organizations affiliated with Iran, speaks at a conference held in London in February 2011 to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Sheikh Shabbir Hassanally, the most prominent figure in the English branch of the Iranian World AhlulBayt Islamic Assembly, one of the organizations affiliated with Iran, speaks at a conference held in London in February 2011 to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. He said he hoped the "cancerous tumor" [i.e., Israel] occupying Palestine would soon be removed. Left: The Iranian flag (YouTube).

Overview

Britain as an arena for exporting Iran's Islamic Revolution

1. The desire to export the Islamic Revolution to the entire Muslim nation, and even to all humanity, is an integral part of the ideology of the Ayatollah Khomeini, author of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. His heir, Ali Khamenei, also aspires to export the Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East and to other locations. With Iranian leadership, they will work to destroy what they consider the root of all evil: the great powers, which in their view corrupt the world, especially the United States (the Great Satan) and its ally Israel (the Little Satan).

2. In keeping with its policy of exporting the revolution, including to the Arab countries, Iran spreads radical Shi'ite Islam and hatred for the United States and its allies, the Jewish people in general and Israel in particular. To that end Iran devotes great resources, and many agencies within the Iranian regime, including the Quds Force, are thus involved Iran regards those activities as furthering its strategic interests, especially its desire for regional hegemony and for waging a global campaign against the West and Israel.

3. In our assessment, for a variety of reasons Iran regards Britain as an important site for exporting the revolution to the West. It is one of America's main allies and the conditions there are favorable for waging the battle of hearts and minds: there is a large Muslim community and widespread media coverage, and British agencies are tolerant of that sort of activity. In addition, the Tehran is deeply hostile to Britain and the presence of many anti-Israel organizations and networks in Britain have made it the most important international center for the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

4. In Britain there are at least four organizations/institutions dealing with the dissemination of Shi'ite Islam, the ideology of Iran's Islamic Revolution and the Iranian regime's political agenda. Two of them are in fact British offshoots of the Iranian regime and two are local British organizations affiliated with Iran. The first two are headed by senior Iranian clerics, representatives of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. One of the local branches is headed by a man of Iranian descent living in the West and the other by a Pakistani Shi'ite. The organizations represent themselves as independent, but an inspection of their ideological, political and religious positions, and an examination of their activities, indicate that they act as proxies for the Iranian regime and in our assessment are handled by Tehran to promote Iran's interests in Britain and the West in general and for exporting the revolution.

5. The following are brief descriptions of these organizations and institutions operating in Britain which have close links to the Iranian regime. For full details see the Appendices:

1) The World AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) in Britain is an Iranian organization dealing with spreading Shi'ite Islam and the ideology of the Ayatollah Khomeini to dozens of countries around the globe. The organization, whose activities are directed by the office of the Supreme Leader Khamenei, is headed by Hojjat al-Islam Muhammad Hassan Akhtari, a cleric and one of Hezbollah's co-founders. The dominant figure in the British AIM is Sheikh Shabbir Hassanally, who attracts support for the ideas of the Islamic Revolution and spreads hatred for Israel and the West. The British AIM is a participant in the campaign to delegitimize Israel and collaborates with far left British activists and groups as well as with groups and networks affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The World AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM)

2) The Islamic Centre of England (ICEL) is an organization affiliated with Iran, established in 1996 by the Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, who was Khamenei's representative in Britain. Its current head is the Ayatollah Abd al-Hassan Moezi,said to be Khamenei's representative. The organization spreads the ideology of Iran's Islamic Revolution and promotes Tehran's political agenda. The Islamic Centre of England also participates in the campaign to delegitimize Israel, including Iranian-oriented Jerusalem Day events.

The Islamic Centre of England (ICEL)

3) The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) was established in London in 1997. Its stated objective is to promote the human rights of Muslims living in Britain. In reality, it is active in the campaign to delegitimize Israel, including organizing Jerusalem Day events in London and participating in the anti-Israel BDS campaign. The IHRC is chaired by Massoud Shadjareh, a human rights activist of Iranian descent affiliated with the Iranian regime who moved his activities from UC Berkeley to London.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

4) Innovative Minds (Inminds) is an organization operating in Britain since 2001 which maintains close ties to the IHRC and is affiliated with Iran. It is headed by Abbas Panjwani, a Pakistani Shi'ite living in Britain. The organization focuses its activities on BDS as part of the overall campaign to delegitimize Israel, and participates in Jerusalem Day events. To justify its boycott of Israel it uses fatwas issued by Shi'ite clerics.

6. In addition to the organizations in London noted above, PressTV, the Iranian English-language television channel also operates in Britain. Currently employing a staff of at least ten, it began its operations in London in 2006. Its broadcasts reflect the political and propaganda positions of the Iranian regime, including Holocaust denial. A senior member of the staff named Roshwan Muhammed Salih was interviewed in 2009. He said that the channel wanted to provide a forum for "legitimate" actors, those with whom the Western media do not deal, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the forces opposing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (Hurryupharry website). The channel also provides a stage for anti-Israel British activists, including those affiliated with the far left who participate in the campaign to delegitimize Israel.[1] After Press TV violated British broadcasting laws in 2010, its license was revoked by the British Office of Communications (OFCOM). Nevertheless, Press TV continues functioning, although with limitations.[2]

7. In conclusion, the Iranian regime operates a series of organizations and activists in London dealing with exporting the Islamic Revolution. Their activities include anti-West, anti-Israel incitement and propaganda, converting Sunni Muslims to Shi'a, promoting Iranian-initiated anti-Israel events (Jerusalem Day) and participating in the activities of the organizations waging the campaign to delegitimize Israel (BDS, GM2J  marches from neighboring territories to Israel's borders). The activities of the Iranian-affiliated organizations in Britain contribute to radicalizing the local Muslim population, which in any case is exposed to the activities and influenceof the Muslim Brotherhood. So far the pro-Iranian human element in Britain has not been exploited for terrorist purposes, although past experience in other countries has shown that it might just be a matter of time.

 

[1] One of the activists is George Galloway, an anti-Israel British MP and head of an organization called Viva Palestina, which focuses on sending convoys to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Galloway hosted a program on Press TV to promote propaganda for the World March to Jerusalem on March 30, 2012.

[2] Sky TV satellites stopped broadcasting Press TV programs, but the broadcasting staff of the British branch continues producing programs.

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