Alireza Akbari: Iran executes dual British-Iranian citizen
Alireza Akbari, a dual British-Iranian citizen and former Iranian official, has been executed, Iranian judiciary-linked Mizan media reported on Saturday.
He was hanged for crimes including “corruption on earth,” according to tweets by Mizan, who did not specify when the execution took place.
Two media tweets on Saturday accused Akbar of “extensive cooperation with British intelligence officers” for which he received “huge sums of money”.
Akbar’s death sentence was announced just days earlier, on January 11, after he was convicted of spying for the United Kingdom. Akbar had denied the allegations.
According to claims published in Mizan on Wednesday, Akbari was arrested “some time ago” for “spying against this country”.
“On this basis and after the indictment was filed against the accused, the file was sent to the court and the hearings were held in the presence of the lawyer of the accused and based on the valid documents in the file, this person was sentenced to death for spying for the UK” , said Mizan.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denounced the measure.
“I am appalled by the execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari in Iran,” Sunak tweeted.
“This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of its own people. My thoughts are with Alireza’s friends and family.”
Echoing Sunak’s statements, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley called the execution a “barbaric act” that “deserves condemnation in the strongest possible terms”.
“This will not go unchallenged. My thoughts are with the family of Alireza Akbar,” he wrote on Twitter.
Cleverley said his office would call the Iranian Charge d’Affaires for the execution.
“This will not go unchallenged and we will call in the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires to make clear our disgust at Iran’s actions. Our thoughts are with Mr. Akbari’s family,” Cleverley said in a statement.
“The execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari is a barbaric act that deserves punishment in the harshest possible terms. Through this politically motivated act, the Iranian regime has once again shown its callous disregard for human life.”
The UK government had asked Iran not to execute Akbar. The Foreign Office said it would continue to support his family.
Akbari previously served as Iran’s deputy defense minister and was head of the Strategic Research Institute, as well as a member of the military organization that implemented the United Nations resolution that ended the Iran-Iraq war, according to the pro-reform Iranian newspaper Shargh Daily. .
The BBC reported that Akbari was arrested in 2019 and that he served under Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who was in office from 1997 to 2005.