Based on charges that he spied for the United Kingdom, Iran has executed a former deputy defense minister.
Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian dual national, was convicted of "corruption on Earth" and acting against national security by spying for British intelligence. On Saturday morning, the official news outlet of the judiciary confirmed that Akbari was hanged after being sentenced to death.
In addition, it was said that Akbari had previously been given a death sentence for "harming the country's internal and exterior security through passing on information."
The report continued by saying that "the acts of the British espionage agency in this instance have proved the worth of the prisoner, the significance of his access, and the enemy's faith in him."
It was alleged that he had received training from MI-6, established shell companies to thwart Iranian intelligence services, had intelligence meetings in various countries, including Austria and the United Arab Emirates, and that had received British citizenship as a reward for "betraying" his country.
It was described as "a cruel and brutal crime carried out by a barbarous administration with no regard for the human rights of their people" by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak.
The statement made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Cleverly, was as follows: "This atrocious crime ought to be condemned in the strongest possible terms." This will not be allowed to stand without being contested.
In the past, he voiced his opposition to the death of Akbari, stating that "this is a politically driven crime by a cruel administration that has complete concern for human life."
The United States of America has also requested that the execution be halted.
It is believed that Akbari sent information on dozens of high-ranking Iranian officials, such as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent nuclear scientist who was murdered in a village close to Tehran in the year 2020. Iran pointed the finger of guilt at Israel for the strike.
According to the Iranian court, Akbari started working for British intelligence in 2004 and continued doing so for a total of five years until he fled the country. In 2009, he is said to have received advice from the UK advising him to leave Iran.
After that, it is said that Akbari returned to Iran several years later to carry on his operations, and he was eventually jailed.
It has been claimed that he was brought into jail in 2019, however, the judiciary has not disclosed the exact date of his detention.
This week, the state-run IRNA news agency released a video that purported to show "confessions" by Akbari. Akbari is said to have been a close ally of Ali Shamkhani, Iran's current security chief and defense minister from 1997 to 2005 when Akbari was Shamkhani's deputy. The video was released earlier this week by the IRNA news agency.
His family had claimed to the British media that Akbari was innocent and that he had been framed as a result of "political games" in Iran.