The British police have detained the Iranian owner of a London-based television production company over allegations made by a British secret service agent against Press TV.
Mehdi Mirtaleb, who heads a company that renders media services to Press TV, was taken into custody by London police after a notorious Iranian separatist filed a complaint against the alternative news channel.
Shadi Sadr, whose controversial remarks promoting the separation of the resource-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan from the rest of Iran has met with angry reactions from Iranians throughout the world and earned her the title of ‘traitor’, took exception to Press TV covering her statements in a February 27 article published on the channel’s website.
She pressed charges against the channel that led to the surprising arrest of Mirtaleb, who had no involvement in the writing or publication of the article regarding Sadr’s separatist statements.
In the article, Press TV had pointed to Sadr’s provocative remarks on her Facebook page that read: “Living next to the Karun (river) and the Shatt al-Arab (Arvand) waterway with the country’s oil underneath your feet…Will you not wish to separate from this ‘damn’ Iran.”
The post was widely condemned by the global Iranian community.
“Damn Iran? Is this something written by a neutral person? Is this post meant to support the people of Khuzestan or to please Mrs. Sadr’s new masters?” wrote Shahrzad Bagheri. Her comment was followed by many other comments against Sadr’s anti-Iran remarks.
“You have insulted our dear Iran, Mrs. Sadr! And you have tried to label your opponents as racist! These will not help the people of Khuzestan, nor will they prove anything,” said Mehrdad Bozorg in another comment.
“Right now there are bodies of many Iranian martyrs (of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war) still lying at the bottom of Arvand and this mole is calling the waterway Shatt al-Arab! Saddam Hussein (the hanged Iraqi dictator) must be proud of her,” wrote Arya.
Press TV also interviewed its Newsroom Director Hamid Reza Emadi, who slammed Sadr’s separatist provocations as a “step in the wrong direction that needs to be refuted by every patriotic Iranian.”
“This person (Sadr) is clearly a tool…She must be on the MI6 payroll, otherwise no Iranian in her sound mind would dare to insult her motherland so shamelessly,” he said.
“It is sad to say that Shadi Sadr is a traitor. And, traitors have always been on the wrong side of history,” Emadi added.
“Separatist sentiments publicized by Shadi Sadr could threaten the territorial integrity of our dear Iran. This is a crime against humanity as promoting separatist sentiments is a clear example of incitement to violence,” he said, stressing that the Iranian nation has successfully confronted “the nasty phenomenon of separatism” in recent decades.
Emadi said Iran is a “great nation that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and still stands tall as a proud nation no matter who is in power.”
“The grace and glory of the Iranian nation, our past, our present and more importantly our future, do not allow us to tolerate a rat like Shadi Sadr when she calls for the disintegration of our beloved Iran.”
Sadr had earlier called for tougher sanctions against Iran despite knowing that the sanctions only target ordinary civilians. She has successfully represented the British spy agency on media sanctions against Iran.
In a recent commentary posted on a separatist website, Sadr admitted to sabotaging “European diplomats’ efforts to get anti-Iran sanctions eased.”
“Shadi Sadr has to be extradited to Iran. She has to face trial for calling for the disintegration of Iran and for acting against Iran’s national interests by working for a foreign spy agency,” Emadi said.