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Islamic charity dubbed the ‘UK voice of the Iranian Supreme Leader’ reopens

A controversial British Islamic charity with personal ties to the Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei has reopened its doors despite still being under investigation.

The Islamic Centre of England Limited (ICEL), comprising a religious and cultural centre in Maida Vale, west London, is being investigated by the Charity Commision, a UK government body, over comments the charities director made last October.

Seyed Moosavi, 54, trustee of the controlling charity and a personal representative of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said the young people protesting against the brutal Iranian theocracy were the “soldiers of Satan”.

The Charity Commission had already handed two official warnings to the ICEL for eulogising Major General Qasem Soleimani, a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was killed in drone strikes by the United States in January 2020 for funding violent militias around the world.

The mosque was temporarily shut on May 23, two weeks after Emma Moody, a senior partner at an international law firm, took over as interim manager (IM) upon the order of the Charity Commission while its statutory inquiry into ICEL continued. The closure of the mosque in May came as a result of a separate issue relating to the renewal of some of the centre’s insurance policies, which predated Ms Moody’s appointment, according to the Charity Commission.

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However, due to the ongoing investigation, Sir Ivor Roberts, advisor to United Against Nuclear Iran, a neoconservative advocacy group, described the reopening of the centre as “deeply disturbing”.

Speaking about the ongoing Charity Commision inquiry, Sir Ivor told that it was “time to close the investigation and enforce the closure of the ICEL”.

He added that the Islamic Centre as well as “the whole apparatus of Iranian cultural centres”, serve only to “spread the regime’s hateful ideology on our streets”.

Senior politicians have also been calling for its closure. Alicia Kearns MP, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee, described the centre as the “London office” of the Iranian regime.

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.

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The Iranian regime, under the leadership of supreme leader Ali Khamenei, is an outspoken critic of the West and staunch supporter of Russia in its invasion of Ukraine; it has supplied thousands of Shahed kamikaze drones to the Kremlin that have been used to kill Ukrainian civilians.

Domestically, it has executed hundreds of its own citizens every year, a figure that has steadily grown since hundreds of thousands of its civilians initiated a revolution against them last September, when the regime’s morality police killed a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Ahmini, for not wearing her Islamic headdress properly.

The IRCG, the Iranian armed forces, which comprises five branches, has mercilessly gunned down hundreds more protesters across the country on behalf of the regime.

One Iranian woman, also named Mahsa, who fled to Turkey after being propositioned by the IRGC as a teenager, described her country to as the third worst place to live in the world, behind only North Korea and Afghanistan.

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The Islamic Centre’s director in London has spoken in defence of this regime and described the late Major General Qasem Soleimani, an IRGC commander, as a “great martyr”.

A statement from ICEL on their website confirmed that their centre had been reopened after the issue relating to “liability insurance” was resolved.

The statement read: “Dear Community Members and mourners of Aba Abdillahil Hussain! By offering Condolences on the event of Ashura we are glad to announce that the Islamic Centre of England now reopens its doors to all.

“We are pleased to say that a policy of liability insurance has been obtained thanks to introductions made by members of the community – and we are grateful to them for their efforts on behalf of the Centre.”

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