Islamic charity in London that praised Iranian terror general closes

From the Telegraph

An Islamic centre described as the voice of Iran’s Supreme leader in the UK has closed – just weeks after the Charity Commission tried to take control. The Islamic Centre of England (ICE) shut its doors on Wednesday following an investigation by the charity watchdog over how it was run.

Some sources have suggested that the Iranian regime decided to pull the plug on the operation rather than lose control to an interim manager appointed by the Charity Commission. Another source, however, suggested that while the building was being closed down – at least temporarily – the charity was still being run by the interim manager with cooperation from the trustees.

The inquiry into the charity was opened in November last year over “serious governance concerns” and only after the watchdog had issued the ICE with an official warning. The controversial charity, comprising a religious and cultural centre, in Maida Vale in west London, has been described as the ‘London office’ of the Iranian regime by Alicia Kearns, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee. Theresa Villiers, a former Cabinet minister who sits on the intelligence and security select committee, described the centre as “the voice of the Supreme Leader in this country” in the Commons.

Concerns were first raised after The Telegraph revealed the cultural centre had hosted a vigil for Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who had been killed in a drone strike in January 2020. The ICE’s director Seyed Hashem Moosavi issued a statement on the ICE website in which he praised Soleimani as a “great martyr”. The IRGC funds and directs terror groups abroad that are linked to the Iranian regime.

Sources expressed concerns about the centre’s role at a time when the Islamic state was becoming increasingly volatile after a series of demonstrations were sparked following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was killed while in custody for not wearing a hijab.