Iran Executes Alireza Akbari for Espionage Conviction
Iran Executes British-Iranian Citizen for Spying for British Intelligence Services
Iran on Saturday (01.14.2022) executed British-Iranian citizen and former Deputy Defense Minister Alireza Akbari, convicted of spying for British intelligence services, despite international calls to stop the hanging.
The semi-official Mehr media outlet reported that Alireza Akbari, 61, was put to death after being found guilty of “corruption on Earth and attacking the internal and external security of the country by transferring intelligence information”, according to Mizan Online news service.
The former deputy minister was accused of “spying for MI6” in exchange for “1,805,000 euros, 265,000 pounds and 50,000 US dollars”, the details of his sentencing remain unknown.
The British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly condemned the execution: “Iran must not continue with the brutal threat of execution”. US State Department Deputy Announcer, Vedant Patel, also demanded the immediate release of Akbari: “The United States echoes the firm call of the British government for Iran not to proceed with this execution and to immediately release Mr. Akbari.”
Alireza Akbari himself had held the position of deputy defense minister during the tenure of former reformist president Mohamed Katami, and had been arrested three years ago. The announcement of his death sentence came amid protests rocking Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Iran has been accused of using prisoners with dual nationality, especially, but also from other countries, as a measure of pressure or for prisoner exchanges, which has been referred to as “hostage diplomacy” by other governments and human rights organizations.
At least four people have been executed for their participation in the protests and seventeen have been sentenced to hang. According to Reuters, Iran is one of the leading countries in number of executions, with 246 of them in 2021 alone.