Iran executes British-Iranian Akbari, Sunak condemns ‘cowardly act’

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Alireza Akbari was charged with “extensive cooperation with British intelligence officials” for which he was paid “large sums of money” on Saturday.

Iran executed a British-Iranian citizen, Alireza Akbari, over accusations of corruption and extensive cooperation with the British intelligence officers, CNN reported citing the Iranian judiciary-affiliated outlet Mizan on Saturday.

The outlet posted two tweets, informing about the execution. Akbari was charged with “extensive cooperation with British intelligence officials” for which he was paid “large sums of money” on Saturday.

Akbari’s death sentence was announced just days ago, on January 11, after he was convicted of spying for the United Kingdom. However, Akbari, who was also a former Iranian official, had denied the charges, as per CNN.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday and condemned the execution on Twitter, calling it a ‘callous and cowardly’ act.

He tweeted, “I am appalled by the execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari in Iran. 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.”

Citing the Iranian pro-reform publication Shargh Daily, CNN stated that Akbari formerly held the positions of deputy defence minister, head of the Strategic Research Institute, and member of the military group that carried out the United Nations resolution that ended the Iran-Iraq conflict.

Furthermore, UK’s Foreign Minister James Cleverly also denounced the execution of Alireza.

“Iran has executed a British national. This barbaric act deserves condemnation in the strongest possible terms. This will not stand unchallenged. My thoughts are with Alireza Akbari’s family,” Cleverly tweeted.

Several Iranians have received death-by-execution sentences during the nationwide demonstrations spurred by the alleged custodial killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, by the country’s erstwhile morality police for reportedly not wearing her headscarf properly.

The country carried out its first-ever execution of a man for injuring a paramilitary officer on Thursday. The person, identified as Mohsen Shekari, was found guilty of using a machete to hurt a security official while blocking a street in Tehran.

Three days after her arrest, Amini died in custody. The death sparked demonstrations and clashes with security forces, leaving many dead. (ANI)

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