A British charity run by a representative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei shut its doors on May 24, after the charity regulator tried to take control and media investigations exposed hate speech among its speakers.
A notice posted on the Islamic Centre of England's (ICE) closed gates said, “It is with great sadness that we have to inform our Congregation & Community that due to the unforeseen circumstances, all programs including daily prayers are suspended until further notice.”
The message was later removed.
An employee at the ICE told The Telegraph that the charity will be closed for the next two to three days.
The Charity Commission, which registers and regulates charities in England and Wales, launched an inquiry into the ICE in November last year over “serious governance concerns.”
Earlier this month, the commission appointed a senior partner at an international law firm as manager “due to the trustees’ failure to comply with their legal duties and responsibilities and their failure to protect the charity’s assets.”
The watchdog said the interim manager “will conduct a review of the charity’s governance and administration and make recommendations to the Commission based on her findings.”
A Charity Commission spokesman said on May 24, “We are aware of the developments at the charity. Our inquiry is ongoing, and we remain in close contact with the interim manager we appointed to the charity earlier this month. We can’t comment further at this time.”
Senior UK politicians have called for the controversial charity, comprising a religious and cultural center, to be shut down
It has been described as the "London office" of the Iranian regime by MP Alicia Kearns, chair the foreign affairs select committee.
Theresa Villiers, who sits on the intelligence and security select committee, called the charity "the voice" of Khamenei in the UK.
Concerns were raised after The Telegraph revealed the center had hosted a vigil for General Ghasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' expeditionary Quds Force, who had been killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020. The ICE’s director Seyed Hashem Moosavi praised Soleimani as a “great martyr.”
The IRGC funds and directs terror groups abroad that are linked to the Islamic Republic.
Also, analysis of the sheikhs listed as speakers at the ICE shows that some have called for “academic jihad” in schools, the eradication of Western “empires” and the “compassionate” killing of gay people, the Times newspaper reported. Islamic scholars promoted by the center have also delivered sermons to crowds that chanted “death to England.”