Iran executes British man with dual-citizenship three years after jailing him over claims he was a spy

Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian citizen, was found guilty of spying for the United Kingdom and was sentenced to death by Iran.

After receiving a warning not to execute Akbari, a former deputy defence minister of Iran, from the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, the Islamic dictatorship carried out the execution just hours later.

Britain had demanded his immediate release and criticised the death penalty as being politically motivated.

Alireza Akbari, who had been found guilty of extensive acts of espionage for the British government’s intelligence service and corruption on earth, had been executed, according to a tweet from Mizan.

1.8 million euros, 265,000 pounds, and $50,000 were allegedly paid to him for spying.

In an audio recording broadcast by BBC Persian on Wednesday, Akbari said he had confessed to crimes he had not committed after extensive torture.

Iranian state media broadcast a video on Thursday January 12, they said showed that Akbari played a role in the 2020 assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, killed in a 2020 attack outside Tehran which authorities blamed at the time on Israel.

Akbari did not confess to involvement in the assassination but said a British agent had asked for information about Fakhrizadeh.

Earlier this week, Mr Akbari’s wife Maryam said an official asked her to visit her husband in prison for a ‘final meeting’ before the state killing.

He was transferred to solitary confinement, a sign that the execution was imminent after the death was sentenced and issued by the Revolutionary Court. 

An audio message received by BBC Persia from Mr Akbari prior to his death claims he has been tortured and forced to confess on camera to crimes he did not commit.

He says he was forced to take psychedelic drugs and was interrogated for ten months.

Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence described the politician as ‘one of the most important agents of the British spy service’.

He previously worked in Iran’s military and security institutions and has joint citizenship of Iran and Britain.

He then served as the international deputy of the Ministry of Defence under two-star general Ali Shamkhani, who served from 1997 to 2005.

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