According to Iranian state media, British-born Iranian citizen Ali Reza Akbari has been hanged after being sentenced to death for spying for Britain.
According to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, the Iranian judiciary claimed that Akbari, who was deputy defense minister under former president Mohammad Khatami until 2001, was a “key spy” for the British government.
It said Iranian intelligence exposed the alleged spy by providing him with false information and described him as “one of the most important infiltrators of the country’s sensitive and strategic centers”.
Mr Akbari claimed he was tortured and given mind-altering drugs and forced to confess to crimes he did not commit.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverley called for Akbari’s release after news of his planned execution emerged.
Earlier this week, Mr Cleverley tweeted: “Iran must halt the execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari and release him immediately.
“This is a politically motivated action by a barbaric government with complete disregard for human life.”
Alicia Cairns, chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, also condemned the planned executions, accusing the Tehran government of overreacting because it felt “cornered” by international sanctions and anti-government protests. was
‘Give Arms to British Citizens’
“It’s another terrible example of the Iranian government, because they feel they’re under siege, because there’s sanctions, the arming of British citizens and the hostage-taking industry,” he told the BBC Radio 4PM programme. There’s a lot of pressure.”
After recent executions of anti-government protesters, Ms Cairns said Western countries should respond with new sanctions against the government.
“Whenever the Iranian government kills a protester, sanctions should be imposed by the Western government the next day so that we can stand by the Iranians protesting for their basic rights, otherwise we will make no sense to them. “They are not supportive,” he said.
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