Iran executed Alireza Akbari, a dual citizen of Iran and the United Kingdom, state media reported on Saturday. He was condemned to death on Wednesday for allegedly spying for the British government.
Akbari served as deputy defence minister in Iran under President Mohammad Khatami. He was arrested in 2019 and accused of being a “key spy” for British intelligence. UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly urged Iran to release him earlier his week, stating that his sentencing is a “politically motivated act by a barbaric regime.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “appalled by the execution.” He added on Twitter: “This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people. My thoughts are with Alireza’s friends and family.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Saturday afternoon that the British government planned to sanction Iran’s Prosecutor General, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, to underline “our disgust at Alireza Akbari’s execution.”
“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,” Cleverly said.
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