Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian national, was executed by Iran on Saturday, according to the judiciary’s Mizan news agency, after being sentenced to death on charges of spying for Britain.
The United Kingdom, which had declared Alireza Akbari’s case politically motivated and called for his release, condemned the execution. In 2019, Akbari, 61, was arrested.
Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, described it as “a callous and cowardly act perpetrated by a barbaric regime with no regard for the human rights of their own people.”
The execution was reported by the Mizan news agency without specifying when it occurred.
“Alireza Akbari, who was sentenced to death on charges of earthly corruption and extensive action against the country’s internal and external security through espionage for the British government’s intelligence service… was executed,” the statement said.
According to the report, Akbari, who was arrested in 2019, was paid $50,000 for spying. He was a close ally of Ali Shamkhani, who was defense minister from 1997 to 2005 and is now the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
Late Friday, Britain’s foreign minister, James Cleverly, said Iran must not carry out the sentence, a call echoed by Washington.