Bahrain unearths militant agitator's Iran link
Manama, August 31, 2011
A Bahraini militant agitator based in London, who has met former prime minister Gordon Brown and visited the House of Lords, is facing questions over his links to the Iranian regime.
Dr Saeed Shehabi, 56, has made keynote speeches supporting Iranian hardliners, and worked for 13 years in offices owned by the government of Iran, revealed London's Evening Standard newspaper yesterday.
A senior Whitehall source said there are 'concerns' around Dr Shehabi and he was 'of interest'.
Patrick Mercer, a Conservative MP and security expert, said: 'This man's connections with Iran are extremely concerning and embarrassing to those who have praised him as a credible voice on Bahrain.'
In March 2005, he met Brown, the then chancellor, at a celebration of Muslims in Britain.
An Evening Standard investigation has found that the offices near Old Street where Dr Shehabi worked for 13 years are owned by the 'Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran'.
When he started working there in the Nineties it was owned by Proudrose Limited. Records show Proudrose's mortgage was lent by the Iranian government and one of its directors, Dr Ali Helmi, is the cultural attache at the Iranian embassy in London.
Dr Shehabi has also praised the 1979 Iranian revolution in speeches at a Maida Vale mosque run by the 'Supreme Spiritual Leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran.'
The trading address of a bookshop inside the mosque, called the Islamic Centre of England, is registered to the activist's home in Willesden.
During an event at the mosque in February, Dr Shehabi claimed the anti-democratic revolution in Iran was a 'divine gift'.
He said: 'Suddenly Muslims became proud of their identity. Today after 32 years since the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Islam has become a world player.'
Dr Shehabi has also backed Iran's nuclear programme in the Pakistani media. In 2009 he told a news agency: 'The West is trying to prevent Iran from having nuclear energy because it simply does not want Iran to acquire advanced technologies.'-TradeArabia News Service