IRAN: Alireza Akbari, a dual British-Iranian national who was sentenced to death in Iran, has been executed, Iranian media said on Saturday.
Without providing details on when the execution took place, Mizan, a local news agency, said that he had been hanged.
Akbari, who previously served as a deputy defence minister of Iran and was detained in 2019, was convicted of espionage for the UK, which he refused.
Earlier this week, Akbari’s family said they had been asked to go to his prison for a “final visit” and that he had been transferred to solitary confinement as Britain reiterated its demand that Tehran refrains from carrying out the execution.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tweeted this week, “Iran must halt the execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari and immediately release him.”
This Monday, Iran published a video of Akbari that appeared to be his coerced confessions.
On Wednesday, an audio message was aired from Akbari in which he claimed he had been subjected to torture and coerced into confessing to things he hadn’t committed.
United States envoy Vedant Patel stated that “his execution would be unconscionable” in support of appeals for Iran not to carry out Akbari’s death.
On Friday, Patel claimed that “Alireza Akbari’s charges and sentencing were politically motivated.”
An official from the UK Foreign Office told the media earlier this week that the UK was supporting Akbari’s family and had brought up his case with Iranian officials numerous times.
In his audio message, a senior Iranian official who was engaged in nuclear negotiations with international powers invited him to visit Iran a few years ago when he was abroad.
Once there, he continues, he was accused of acquiring top-secret intelligence from Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, “in exchange for a bottle of perfume and a shirt.” Akbari claimed that he was “interrogated and tortured” by intelligence officers “for more than 3,500 hours.”
Additionally, he claimed that Iran wanted to execute him “to exact revenge on the UK.”
A few hours after the audio message was released, the Mizan news agency officially announced that Akbari had been convicted guilty of spying and that the Supreme Court had rejected his appeal.
Since the UK placed sanctions on Iran’s senior security officials and members of the morality police in reaction to that nation’s bloody crackdown on anti-government protestors, relations between the two countries have gotten worse.
Numerous dual citizens or Iranians who have a permanent presence abroad have been detained by Iran in recent years. They were arrested most frequently on suspicion of espionage and other national security-related offenses.
British-Iranian citizens Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were released and permitted to leave Iran last year after the UK paid off an old debt owed to Iran.
However, at least two other British-Iranians, including US citizen Morad Tahbaz, are still being held.
Following a wave of anti-government rallies that started in September, theocratic Iran has initiated a harsh assault on protesters. In connection with the protests, Tehran has executed at least four people.
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