British-Iranian dual citizen Alireza Akbari has been sentenced to death for spying for the UK
Alireza Akbari, a dual British-Iranian citizen and former Iranian official, has been sentenced to death in Iran for treason for the United Kingdom, according to the Mizan rebel-linked Iranian judge. Wednesday.
Akbari previously served as Iran’s deputy defense minister and he was the head of the Strategic Studies Institute, as well as a member of the military group that implemented the United Nations resolution to end the Iran-Iraq war, according to the pro-reform Iranian revolution Shargh Daily.
According to the charges in Mizan, Akbari was “some time ago arrested for treason against this country. On this basis and after filing a lawsuit against the accused, the file was sent to court and hearings were held in the presence of the accused’s lawyer and based on the valid documents in this person’s file, he was sentenced to death for treason for the UK.”
The British government has called on Iran to halt the execution and release Akbari. The BBC has reported that Akbari was arrested in 2019 and served under Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformer who held office from 1997 to 2005.
Akbari appealed the decision, and after reviewing the case, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, according to Mizan. The outlet claims that Iran’s intelligence ministry confirmed that Akbari was an undercover agent for Britain’s secret intelligence service MI6, claiming that he had collected “important national information and provided it in fully conscious and informed way”.
“This spy was in the process of getting a visa from the British Embassy with intelligence agents stationed there,” Mizan said.
The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, called for a halt to the execution. “Iran must stop the death of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari and release him immediately. This is a political act by a barbaric regime that has complete disregard for human life,” he said in a tweet.
A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told CNN that they were supporting Akbari’s family “and have raised his case again with the Iranian authorities.” His immediate release is our priority and we have reiterated our request for urgent consular access.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been one of the world’s best executioners.
The regime executed 314 people in 2021, 20% more than the previous year, the rights group Amnesty International said in a report from May 2022. Many of these had to do with drug-related crimes.
Last weekend, Iran executed two protesters accused of killing security personnel, sparking international outrage. Critics said the executions were the result of hasty sham experiments.