An Iranian-British man has been executed by hanging after being sentenced to death for spying for British intelligence, the Iranian Judiciary Agency announced on Saturday.
Former senior Iranian defense official Alireza Akbari, 61, was convicted of “corruption on Earth and undermining the internal and external security of the country for transmitting intelligence” to the United Kingdom, according to Mizan Online.
His execution came three days after the announcement by Iranian justice of the death sentence for this man, presented as having been a “key spy” for the British “Secret intelligence service” (SIS) because of “the importance of his position”.
This announcement angered London, which demanded that the sentence not be carried out.
“Iran must stop the execution of British and Iranian national Alireza Akbari and release him immediately,” said British Foreign Minister James Cleverly. “This is a politically motivated act by a barbaric regime that has total disregard for human life,” he said.
– “Highly placed positions” –
On Thursday, Iranian official media reported that Alireza Akbari had held senior positions in the security and defense apparatus.
According to the IRNA news agency, he was a veteran of the war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988) before occupying important positions, such as “Deputy Minister of Defense for Foreign Affairs”. , head of a unit in a ministerial research center, “advisor for the commander of the Navy”, among others.
He also worked in the “Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council”, IRNA said, adding that Mr. Akbari was arrested between March 2019 and March 2020.
IRNA did not specify on what dates Mr. Akbari held these positions.
The United States said Friday to join its voice to the United Kingdom to call on Iran not to execute Alireza Akbari.
“The charges against Mr. Akbari and his death sentence are politically motivated and his execution would be inadmissible,” said Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman Vedant Patel.
Iran regularly announces the arrest of agents suspected of working for foreign intelligence services, including Israel.
Relations between Tehran and London have been weighed down in recent years by the arrest of several dual nationals.
In early December, Iran executed four people accused of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services.
Akbari’s execution comes as Iran has been rocked by protests sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, after she was arrested for breaking the Republic’s strict dress code. Islamic for women.
Iranian justice has confirmed the death sentence of 18 people in connection with the demonstrations, according to a count established by AFP from official announcements. Among them, four have already been executed, triggering an international outcry.