Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

Alireza Akbari was a former Iranian deputy defence ministerArrested in 2019, he was accused of spying for BritainUK’s Sunak calls it ‘a callous and cowardly act’Britain had mentioned Iran should not observe via with sentence

DUBAI/LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Iran has executed a British-Iranian nationwide who as soon as served as its deputy defence minister, its judiciary mentioned on Saturday, defying calls from London for his launch after he was handed the dying sentence on fees of spying for Britain.

Britain, which had declared the case towards Alireza Akbari, 61, as politically motivated and referred to as for his launch, condemned the execution.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak referred to as it “a callous and cowardly act carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their very own individuals”.

The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan information company reported the execution early on Saturday, with out saying when it had taken place. Late on Friday, British International Secretary James Cleverly had mentioned Iran should not observe via with the sentence – a name echoed by Washington.

The execution appears set to pile extra strain on Iran’s lengthy strained ties with the West which have deteriorated additional since talks to revive its 2015 nuclear deal hit impasse and as Tehran unleashed a lethal crackdown on protesters final 12 months.

In an audio recording purportedly from Akbari and broadcast by BBC Persian on Wednesday, he mentioned he had confessed to crimes he had not dedicated after in depth torture.

“Alireza Akbari, who was sentenced to dying on fees of corruption on earth and in depth motion towards the nation’s inner and exterior safety via espionage for the British authorities’s intelligence service … was executed,” Mizan mentioned.

The Mizan report accused Akbari, arrested in 2019, of receiving funds of 1,805,000 euros, 265,000 kilos, and $50,000 for spying.

Sunak mentioned on Twitter he was “appalled by the execution”. Cleverly mentioned in a press release it might “not stand unchallenged”. “We might be summoning the Iranian Cost d’Affaires to clarify our disgust at Iran’s actions.”

British statements on the case haven’t addressed the Iranian cost that Akbari – who was arrested in 2019 – spied for Britain.

Iranian state media broadcast a video on Thursday that they mentioned confirmed that Akbari performed a job within the 2020 assassination of Iran’s prime nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, killed in a 2020 assault outdoors Tehran which authorities blamed on the time on Israel.

Within the video, Akbari didn’t confess to involvement within the assassination however mentioned a British agent had requested for details about Fakhrizadeh.

Iran’s state media typically airs purported confessions by suspects in politically charged circumstances.

Reuters couldn’t set up the authenticity of the state media video and audio, or when or the place they have been recorded.

Akbari was a detailed ally of Ali Shamkhani, now the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Nationwide Safety Council, who was defence minister from 1997 to 2005, when Akbari was his deputy as a part of the administration of reformist President Mohammad Khatami.


Reflecting Iran’s worsening ties with the West, London-Tehran relations have deteriorated in current months as efforts have stalled to revive the nuclear pact, to which Britain is a celebration.

Britain has additionally been important of the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on anti-government protests, sparked by the dying in custody of a younger Iranian-Kurdish girl in September.

Iran has issued dozens of dying sentences as a part of the crackdown, executing not less than 4 individuals.

A British overseas workplace minister mentioned on Thursday that Britain was actively contemplating proscribing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation however has not reached a remaining choice.

Within the audio recording broadcast by BBC Persian, Akbari mentioned he had made false confessions on account of torture.

“With greater than 3,500 hours of torture, psychedelic medicine, and physiological and psychological strain strategies, they took away my will. They drove me to the brink of insanity… and compelled me to make false confessions by drive of arms and dying threats,” he mentioned.

An Iranian state TV report broadcast on Saturday mentioned the intelligence ministry had him underneath surveillance and arrested him in 1998. He was arrested on espionage fees once more in 2008 earlier than being freed on bail and leaving the nation, it mentioned.

Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the small print.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Michael Holden in London; Writing by Tom Perry; Enhancing by William Mallard and Angus MacSwan

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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