Iran Executes Former Defense Ministry Official With British Citizenship

Iran announced on Saturday that it had executed a former senior defense ministry official who holds dual Iranian-British citizenship, despite international warnings against carrying out the death sentence. The execution further increased tensions with Western countries. nationwide anti-government demonstrations Shake the Islamic Republic.

The hanging of Ali Reza Akbari, a close ally of top security official Ali Shamkhani, signals an ongoing power struggle within Iran’s theocracy. death in september of Masa Amini. It also brings to mind the mass purge of the military that took place shortly after his 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Akbari’s hanging sparked immediate outrage from London, which, along with the US and other countries, imposed sanctions on Iran over protests and protests. Supply to Russia Bomb-laden drones are now targeting Ukraine.

Ali Reza Akbari
In this photo released October 14, 2008, Ali Reza Akbari speaks at the launch of the book “National Nuclear Movement” in Tehran, Iran.

IRNA via Davoud Hosseini, AP

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “This was a ruthless and despicable act carried out by a barbaric regime that does not respect the human rights of its own people.

Foreign Secretary James skillfully summoned Britain’s acting ambassador to Iran and warned separately that “this will not be invincible.”

Britain imposed sanctions on Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri over Akbari’s execution on Saturday night.

Iran similarly summoned the British ambassador after the execution.

Iran’s Mizan news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s judiciary, said it did not disclose when Akbari’s hanging occurred.

Iran claims, without providing any evidence, that Akbari acted as a source for the British Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. money, his British citizenship, and other assistance in London to provide information to intelligence services.

But Iran has long accused foreign travelers and those with spy ties to the West, often using them as bargaining chips.

The anti-government demonstrations currently rocking Iran are one of the biggest challenges for the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

At least 520 protesters were killed and 19,400 arrested, according to Iranian human rights activists, a group monitoring the riots. Iranian officials have not provided official figures on the deaths or arrests.

Iran executed Four after being convicted of charges related to the protests in a similarly criticized trial involving attacks on security forces.

Akbari, who ran a private think tank, is believed to have been arrested in 2019, but details of his case have emerged in recent weeks. Those accused of espionage and other crimes related to national security are usually tried behind closed doors. Rights groups say they don’t choose their own lawyers and aren’t allowed to see evidence against them.

Iranian state television aired a highly edited video of Akbari discussing the allegations. The video resembled other alleged confessions that activists described as coerced confessions.

The BBC Persian service aired an audio message from Akbari on Wednesday, in which he said he was tortured.

“Using physiological and psychological methods, they broke my will, drove me insane, and forced me to do whatever they wanted,” Akbari said in a voiceover. By force of intimidation, they forced me to confess to false and corrupt allegations.”

Iran has not commented on the allegations of torture. But the UN human rights chief has warned Iran against “weaponizing” the death penalty as a means of quelling protests.

On Friday, State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel also criticized the pending execution of Akbari.

“The indictment against Ali Reza Akbari and his sentence of execution were politically motivated. His execution was not conscientious,” he said. “We are deeply disturbed by reports that Mr Akbari was drugged, tortured, interrogated for thousands of hours and forced to make false confessions while in custody.”

“More broadly, Iran’s practices of arbitrary and unjust detention, coerced confessions and politically motivated executions are completely unacceptable and must end,” it added.

Robert Murray, the US envoy to Iran, said he was “horrified” by Akbari’s execution.

“The Islamic Republic’s unjust detentions, coerced confessions, false trials and politically motivated executions must end,” he wrote online.

French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned what he called a “heinous and barbaric act”.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock said on Twitter that the execution was “another inhumane act by the Iranian regime”.

Iran is one of the world’s leading executioners. However, it was not immediately clear when a former or current dignitary was last executed. In 1984, Iran executed Navy Secretary Admiral Bahram Ahzali and nine of his other military personnel for spying for the Soviet Union.

For months, the Iranian government has tried to accuse the Islamic Republic of fueling insecurity in the Islamic Republic since the death of 22-year-old Amini in September after being detained by the moral police. They say they are angry at the collapsing economy, the brutal police and the entrenched power of the country’s Muslim clerics.

For several years, Iran has been locked in a shadow war with the United States and Israel, marked by a covert attack on its disputed nuclear program. The killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist in 2020 was Iran’s accusation against Israel and indicated that a foreign intelligence agency had carried out a major infiltration. I mentioned the scientist in the discussion, but if he had any information about him, it’s unclear.

Akbari had previously led the implementation of the 1988 ceasefire between Iran and Iraq after a devastating eight-year war, working closely with UN observers. He served as deputy defense minister under Shamkhani, and the administration of reformist President Mohammad Khatami likely made his credentials even more questionable to hardliners within Iran’s theocracy.

Today, Shamkhani serves as secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the country’s supreme security body overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His Akbari audio message, aired by BBC Persian, included a statement that he was accused of obtaining classified information from Shamkhani “in exchange for a bottle of perfume and a shirt”. However, Shyamkhani still seems to be doing his part. Iran Executes Former Defense Ministry Official With British Citizenship

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