Friday, February 3, 2023

UK sanctions Iran’s prosecutor general in response to MI6 spy execution

The United Kingdom has sanctioned Iran’s prosecutor general in response to Tehran’s execution of an Iranian-British national convicted of espionage for the British intelligence agency, Foreign Minister James Cleverly confirmed on Saturday.

“Sanctioning him today underlines our disgust at Alireza Akbari’s execution,” Cleverly said on Twitter.

“The Prosecutor General is at the heart of Iran’s use of the death penalty. We’re holding the regime to account for its appalling human rights violations,” he added.

The British Foreign Ministery has also announced that London will temporarily recall its ambassador from Tehran to carry out some consultations.

Iran announced on Saturday that it has executed Akbari, a former defense official who was sentenced to death over long-running espionage for Britain’s intelligence service.

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,” a report said.

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

The ex-official 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.

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