A British man has been executed in Iran after being accused of spying for MI6. Alireza Akbari, who holds dual Iranian citizenship, was sentenced to death for "corruption on earth and harming the country’s internal and external security by passing on intelligence."
This comes after allegedly being forced to make a confession.The Iranian judiciary’s official news outlet Mizan reported on Saturday (January 14) that Alireza Akbari had been hanged, without specifying the date when the execution took place.
Akbari’s execution comes after UK authorities confirmed that they are investigating a shipment of uranium seized at Heathrow which is feared to have been linked to Iran. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he is "appalled" over the execution by Tehran.
“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,” he said.
The BBC reports that Akbari’s family had been asked to go to his prison for a "final visit" on Wednesday (January 11) and his wife said he had been moved to solitary confinement. Akbari, who was Iran’s ex-deputy defence minister, was arrested in 2019 and convicted of spying for the UK , which he denied.
James Cleverly, foreign secretary of the United Kingdom said: “Iran has executed a British national. This barbaric act deserves condemnation in the strongest possible terms. This will not stand unchallenged.”
The news came after Iran posted a video of Akbari earlier this week showing what appeared to be forced confessions. - The country’s intelligence ministry had also described the British-Iranian as "one of the most important agents of the British intelligence service in Iran".