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Posted on Oct 29, 2013

British “cultural charity” run from Tehran

British “cultural charity” run from Tehran

A UK-registered charity dedicated to “promoting Persian language and culture throughout London”[1] is run from Iran by a senior regime official, Stand for Peace can reveal.

Ali Mohammad Helmi, the Chairman of the London-based Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature (CPPLL)[2] who once worked as a cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Britain[3] but now heads up the regime’s Centre for Dialogue between Civilisations and Religions,[4] has been described by the Guardian as “a hardline supporter of Iran’s supreme leader.”[5] All three of the CPPLL’s trustees are Iranian nationals who live and work in Tehran or Mashhad.[6]

Significantly, the CPPLL shares its offices with the Cultural Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London,[7] an openly regime-controlled agency which closed when the British government severed diplomatic relations with Iran in November 2011. Mr Helmi was its Director.[8]

Stand for Peace is deeply concerned about the true mission and activities of the CPPLL. According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the coalition of Iranian oppositionists which first exposed the regime’s secret nuclear weapons programme in 2002, “cultural attachés [like Mr Helmi], who are trained intelligence agents, play an important role in the export of fundamentalism.”[9]

The NCRI’s assessment was echoed last year by the US Congress, which found evidence of “[regime] operatives [being assigned to] foreign embassies, charities, and religious and cultural institutions to foster relationships, often building on existing socioeconomic ties with the well established Shia Diaspora.”[10]



[1] See charity profile on www.charitycommission.gov.uk

[2] apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends47%5C0001094447_ac_20100930_e_c.pdf

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/feb/10/iranian-funding-durham-university-boycott

[4] http://www.tehrantimes.com/arts-and-culture/110347-iranian-and-south-korean-scholars-discuss-religion-at-tehran-seminar

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/feb/10/iranian-funding-durham-university-boycott

[6] http://ferdows.profcms.um.ac.ir/ + http://f-mokhberdezfouli-theo.iauctb.ac.ir/faculty/en

[7] http://en.london.icro.ir/index.aspx?siteid=254&pageid=8742 + http://www.192.com/atoz/business/london-ec1y/language-schools/the-centre-for-promotion-of-persian-language/0d0a597267cbf0e4fff9ab8bc4133904310f9fc5/ml/

[8] http://en.london.icro.ir/index.aspx?siteid=254&pageid=8741

[9] https://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/terrorism-fundamentalism/47-the-clerical-regimes-disinformation-agencies

[10] https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3783/text

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