A twin British-Iranian citizen was hanged by Iran on prices of espionage and corruption, a state-affiliated media outlet reported Saturday, the most recent in a string of executions carried out by a regime grappling with unprecedented protests throughout the nation.

The Iranian official, Alireza Akbari, was executed for crimes together with “corruption on earth,” in accordance the Iranian judiciary-affiliated outlet Mizan. Akbari was charged with working as a spy for MI6, the British intelligence company, and reportedly paid greater than $2 million in numerous currencies – 1.805 million euros, 265,000 British kilos and $50,000 – Iranian state media reported Saturday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated 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 very own individuals. My ideas are with Alireza’s family and friends.”

Overseas Secretary James Cleverly stated Saturday afternoon that the British authorities deliberate to sanction Iran’s Prosecutor Common, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, to underline “our disgust at Alireza Akbari’s execution.”

“The Prosecutor Common is on the coronary heart of Iran’s use of the demise penalty. We’re holding the regime to account for its appalling human rights violations,” Cleverly stated.

Akbari allegedly offered info to international officers about 178 Iranian figures, together with nation’s chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iranian media reported. Fakhrizadeh was killed by a remote-controlled machine gun working out of a automobile in 2020, based on state-affiliated Fars Information. Iran’s high officers accused Israel of masterminding the plot on the time, with out offering proof.

Akbari purportedly carried out his intelligence work by means of the veneer of a non-public firm centered on analysis and commerce actions, working straight with analysis institutes in London that Iran claimed have been headed by intelligence officers, Iran’s state information company IRNA reported. IRNA additionally cited allegations that Akbari had conferences with an MI6 intelligence officer and former British Ambassador to Iran Richard Dalton.

Iran’s Supreme Courtroom upheld the demise penalty handed right down to Akbari after deeming it to be primarily based on “substantiated proof,” based on IRNA.

Mizan didn’t specify when the execution was carried out. Akbari’s demise sentence was introduced simply days in the past, on January 11, after his conviction on spying for the UK. Akbari had denied the costs.

In line with allegations printed in Mizan on Wednesday, Akbari had been arrested “a while in the past.” The BBC reported Akbari was arrested in 2019.

“On this foundation and after submitting an indictment in opposition to the accused, the file was referred to courtroom and hearings have been held within the presence of the accused’s lawyer and primarily based on the legitimate paperwork on this individual’s file, he was sentenced to demise for spying for the UK,” Mizan stated.

Akbari beforehand served as Iran’s deputy protection minister and was the pinnacle of the Strategic Analysis Institute, in addition to a member of the army group that carried out the United Nations decision that ended the Iran-Iraq struggle, based on Iranian pro-reform outlet Shargh Each day. He served below Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who was in workplace from 1997 to 2005, based on the BBC.

Although Iran doesn’t acknowledge twin nationality, the execution of a person holding British citizenship will doubtless additional gas tensions between Tehran and Western democracies, which have been important of the regime’s response to anti-government demonstrations that started in September final yr.

Iran has lengthy ranked among the many world’s high executioners, and Akbari is one in every of three people to obtain a demise sentence within the first weeks of 2023. Two younger males, a karate champion and a volunteer youngsters’s coach, have been hanged final weekend after being convicted of killing a member of the nation’s Basij paramilitary drive. Each had allegedly taken half within the protests that started after a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian girl, Mahsa Amini, died whereas in custody of the nation’s morality police.

Amini’s demise sparked large nationwide demonstrations in opposition to a regime usually criticized as theocratic and dictatorial.

A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran on September 21, 2022, shows Iranian demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody.

Critics have accused Tehran of responding to protests with extreme drive – activist teams HRANA and Iran Human Rights say that 481 protesters have been killed – and utilizing the nation’s unjust judicial system to intimidate would-be demonstrators. United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk alleged that Tehran was “weaponizing” legal procedures to hold out “state-sanctioned killing” of protesters.

As many as 41 extra protesters have obtained demise sentences in latest months, based on statements from each Iranian officers and in Iranian media reviewed by CNN and 1500Tasvir, however the quantity might be a lot greater.

Iranian state media has reported that dozens of presidency brokers, from safety officers to officers of the basij paramilitary drive, have been killed within the unrest.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets since Mahsa Amini's death in September.

Although Akbari’s execution was, on its floor, unrelated to the latest protests, Cleverly, the British Overseas Secretary, alleged that the act was “politically motivated.” He stated Iran’s cost d’affaires can be summoned over the execution “to clarify our disgust at Iran’s actions.”

“The execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari is a barbaric act that deserves condemnation within the strongest potential phrases. By way of this politically motivated act, the Iranian regime has as soon as once more proven its callous disregard for human life,” Cleverly stated on Twitter. “This is not going to stand unchallenged.”

Cleverly additionally introduced Saturday that the UK has briefly recalled its ambassador from Iran for “session” amid the diplomatic fallout following the execution.

Asserting the choice in a Twitter put up, he stated the UK is “holding the regime to account.”

“Our response to Iran shouldn’t be restricted to as we speak,” Cleverly added.

The UK authorities had urged Iran to not execute Akbari, and the Overseas Workplace stated it might proceed to assist his household.

The French authorities additionally summoned Iran’s high diplomat within the nation. French President Emmanuel Macron referred to as Akbari’s execution an “odious and barbaric act.”

“His identify shall be added to the lengthy checklist of victims of repression and the demise penalty in Iran,” Macron stated in a tweet Saturday.

In a tit-for-tat transfer, Tehran summoned the UK ambassador to Iran to protest the British authorities’s “latest acts of sabotage” and its “unconventional interventions in Iran’s inside affairs.”

Amnesty Worldwide referred to as Akbari’s execution “significantly horrific” and an “abhorrent assault on the proper to life.” The rights group claimed that Akbari had stated he was forcibly administered chemical substances, held in extended solitary confinement and compelled to make recorded “confessions” repeatedly.

Amnesty urged the UK authorities to “totally examine” these allegations of torture and unwell remedy and “pursue all avenues to carry the Iranian authorities to account.”

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