Alireza Akbari (file photo).
– Photo: Social Media
Iran has executed British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari after sentencing Iran’s former deputy defense minister to death on charges of spying for Britain. Judiciary’s news agency ‘Mizan’ gave this information. Iran took this action despite calls for Akbari’s release by British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley and US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel.
Akbari, arrested in 2019, was accused of receiving 18,05,000 euros, 2,65,000 pounds and $50,000 for espionage. Iran’s decision to execute an Iranian-British national amid nationwide protests has drawn international criticism. ‘Meezan’ news agency announced the execution of Alireza Akbari, but did not tell when the execution took place.
However, it is being said that he was hanged a few days back. Iran had accused Akbari of espionage without presenting evidence that he was a spy for Britain’s MI-6 intelligence agency. Iran aired an edited video of Akbari. Social activists termed this video as a forced confession. The British Foreign Minister and the spokesperson of the US State Department have condemned Akbari’s execution.
Hanging inspired by politics: America
On Friday, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel criticized Akbari’s execution, saying the charges against Alireza Akbari and the death sentence were politically motivated. His hanging is unfair. We are also deeply distressed by reports that Akbari was drugged in custody, tortured in custody, interrogated for thousands of hours, and forced to make false confessions.
British-Iranian relations sour
Relations between London and Tehran have deteriorated over the past few months following a roadblock to Iran refurbishing the 2015 nuclear pact. Britain was an ally in this pact. In addition, the UK was also criticized for violent anti-government protests in Iran following the custodial death of a girl of Iranian-Kurdish origin in September.