Pro-Iranian Islamic Charity in UK Under Investigation for Hosting Antisemitic Events Featuring IRGC Commanders

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Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Hossein Salami speaking in Tehran. Photo: Reuters/Nazanin Tabatabaee

An Islamic charity in Britain is under investigation after videos emerged of Iranian generals delivering antisemitic speeches to audiences at its premises in west London.

The videos were unearthed by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a US-based research and advocacy group, and shared with the BBC, which verified their authenticity.

According to the BBC’s reporting, one video described an “apocalyptic war on Jews” while a second contained Holocaust denial.

The footage – which also includes a denial of the Holocaust – adds to growing concerns from some parliamentarians that the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is attempting to radicalize UK Muslims, the BBC report noted.

The videos showed a total of three events, two of which were live-streamed speeches by IRGC commanders, with the third recorded at an in-person event at the Kanoon Towhid center, where the group behind the meetings, the Islamic Students Associations of Britain (ISA), holds its gatherings. The ISA was founded to promote the philosophy of the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

In one recording — an Instagram Live from Iran in September 2020 which has been viewed about 1,500 times — IRGC commander Hossein Yekta said universities had become “the battlefront” and urged the students listening to become “soft-war officers”.

Kasra Aarabi — director of IRGC research at UANI — said the term “soft-war officers” is used by Iran to describe recruits to its ideological battle with the West. He said it was coined by a branch of the IRGC, “which today is proactively conducting terror plots on British soil.”

The Kanoon Towhid center is owned by the Al-Tawheed (TUCF) Charitable Trust. The trust was already being investigated by the UK Charity Commission, which governs charitable operations, over an event honoring IRGC Gen Qasem Soleimani, who was sanctioned by the UK for his links to terrorism and assassinated in a US airstrike in 2020. The commission is now examining the videos provided by UANI, which include footage of the Soleimani event.

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, described the speeches as a “brazen act of radicalisation”. She said the IRGC should be added to the list of proscribed terrorist groups in the UK, meaning it would be illegal to be an IRGC member or to show support for them.

 

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