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Iran executes Iranian-British man accused of spying

Iran executes Iranian-British man accused of spying


UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has accused Iran of a “cowardly act” after the Islamic republic executed an Iranian-British nationwide convicted of espionage.

Iranian state media mentioned the Islamic regime had hanged Alireza Akbari, who had held numerous senior positions in Iran’s safety and navy establishments, after he was accused of spying for Britain’s MI6 spy company.

Sunak mentioned in a publish on Twitter that he was “appalled” by the execution. “This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their very own folks,” he mentioned. “My ideas are with Alireza’s family and friends.”

The execution threatens to ramp up tensions between the UK and Iran, with relations already fraught as Iranian officers have blamed western powers for stoking months of protests in opposition to the republic.

Western officers have extensively condemned Tehran’s crackdown in opposition to the protests, which erupted in September, in addition to the regime’s determination to promote armed drones to Moscow, which Russia has utilized in its struggle in opposition to Ukraine.

Dozens of European nationals — primarily French and German — have been arrested in Iran, a few of whom have been detained after the protests erupted, based on western diplomats. It’s believed to be the best variety of westerners ever detained within the Islamic republic.

British, German and French ambassadors have been repeatedly summoned to Iran’s international ministry for his or her international locations’ alleged interference within the republic’s home affairs.

The protests erupted after Mahsa Amini died within the custody of Iran’s morality police after the 22-year-old was accused of not sporting her obligatory hijab correctly. The protests have been one of many longest and largest eruptions of civil unrest because the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Greater than 300 demonstrators, together with 44 youngsters, have misplaced their lives, based on Amnesty Worldwide. 4 protesters have additionally been executed since December.

Akbari, 61, was arrested in 2019 after he returned to Tehran from London, the place he has family. His detention was not publicised by the Iranian or British governments nor his household till lately. The UK mentioned it had repeatedly raised Akbari’s case, most lately on January 11.

Tasnim information company, a state information company, mentioned Akbari had engaged with British spies and obtained money and different advantages from MI6, together with a British passport, €1.8mn, £265,000 and $50,000.

In accordance with the indictment, printed by Tasnim, Akbari acted “in opposition to nationwide safety”, “spying for Britain” over a protracted time frame. It alleged he held “in depth conferences” with MI6 brokers in numerous international locations which all brought about “main disruptions within the nation’s basic order”.

Akbari held a number of senior positions within the Iranian authorities, and was a deputy defence minister from 1997 to 2002 when Ali Shamkhani was defence minister.

Shamkhani at present holds the regime’s high safety place as secretary of the Supreme Nationwide Safety Council.

Akbari had allegedly supplied British spies with details about 178 officers in Iran notably Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a nuclear scientist who was assassinated in Iran in 2020. It’s extensively believed that Israeli brokers killed the scientist.

In an audio file launched by the BBC’s Persian Service final week that was presupposed to be of Akbari talking, the twin nationwide claimed he had made a false confession after being tortured, held in solitary confinement and interrogated for as much as 4,000 hours.

British international secretary James Cleverly mentioned on Twitter: “This barbaric act deserves condemnation within the strongest doable phrases. This won’t stand unchallenged. My ideas are with Alireza Akbari’s household.”

David Lammy, shadow international secretary, mentioned that Labour condemned the “atrocious, cowardly and authoritarian execution”.

“The Iranian regime should be held accountable for its flagrant breaches of human rights and worldwide legislation. All state-sanctioned demise sentences should be instantly quashed.” 



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