Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Iran executes ex-defense official convicted of espionage for Britain

Iran has executed Alireza Akbari, a former defense official who was sentenced to death over long-running espionage for Britain’s MI6 intelligence service.

The Mizan News Agency, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary, reported on Saturday that Alireza Akbari, who held a dual Iranian-British citizenship, was hanged.

He had been found guilty of “corruption on earth and extensive action against the country’s internal and external security through espionage for the British government’s intelligence service,” the report said.

Akbari had received 1,805,000 euros, 265,000 pounds, and 50,000 dollars for spying, it added.

Akbari was a former Iranian deputy defense minister who had lived in the UK for more than a decade. He had been arrested over three years ago.

He was spotted by Iran’s intelligence forces when he met with a number of British intelligence officers in the UK embassy in Tehran.

Among other crimes, Akbari is said to have played a role in the assassination by Israel of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist, in 2020.

In a video aired by state television of his confessions, Akbari said a British agent had asked for information about Fakhrizadeh.

The UK and the US had asked Iran to halt the execution and immediately release him.

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