Iran hangs former deputy defence minister, Alireza Akbari, accused of spying for UK


Iran hangs former deputy defence minister, Alireza Akbari, accused of spying for UK

Iran has executed Alireza Akbari, a former deputy defence minister, on allegations of spying for the United Kingdom.

Today, Mizan Online, Iran’s judicial news agency, said the British-Iranian was hanged after compromising Iran’s security for the British government in exchange for a salary of € 1,805,000, £265,000, and $50,000.

The agency said the former defence ministry official received training from the MI-6, a UK foreign intelligence service, and established shell companies to thwart Iranian intelligence services.

Akbari was accused of meeting with British intelligence officers in different countries, including England, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Malaysia, and the UAE.

He was also said to have collected important information — on domestic and foreign policy, regional, defence, missile, nuclear negotiations and economic issues related to sanctions — and delivered them to British intelligence officers in a “fully informed and targeted manner”.

The reward for “betraying” his country, the agency added, was British citizenship.

Although Iran had blamed the 2020 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist, on Israel, Akbari was alleged to have passed on information about the scientist and dozens of other senior Iranian officials.

According to the Iranian judiciary, Akbari began working with British intelligence in 2004 before leaving the country five years later.

Akbari then allegedly re-entered Iran several years later to continue his activities and was ultimately arrested.

His execution comes days after the state-run IRNA news agency released a video purporting to show “confessions” by the former Iran official.

Akbari had, however, earlier denied the allegations.

Rishi Sunak, UK prime minister, condemned the execution and described it as a barbaric act with no respect for human rights.

“I am appalled by the execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari in Iran,” he tweeted.

“This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people. My thoughts are with Alireza’s friends and family.”