Alireza Akbari, a dual British-Iranian citizen and former Iranian official, has been executed, Iranian justice affiliate media Mizan reported on Saturday.
He was hanged for crimes such as “corruption on earth”, according to tweets from Mizan, who did not specify when the execution took place.
Two media tweets on Saturday accused Akbari of “extensive cooperation with British intelligence officers” for which he received “huge sums of money”.
Akbari’s death sentence was handed down just days ago, on January 11, after he was found guilty of spying for the UK. Akbari had denied the charges.
According to allegations published in Mizan on Wednesday, Akbari was arrested “some time ago” for “espionage against this country”.
“On this basis and after the filing of an indictment against the accused, the case was referred to the court and hearings took place in the presence of the defendant’s lawyer and on the basis of the valid documents of the record of this person, he was sentenced to death for spying for the benefit of the United Kingdom,” Mizan said.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denounced the decision.
“I am appalled at the execution of the British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari in Iran,” Sunak wrote on Twitter.
“It was a ruthless and cowardly act, perpetrated by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of its own people. My thoughts are with Alireza’s friends and family.
Echoing Sunak’s statements, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley called the execution a “barbaric act” which “deserves condemnation in the strongest possible terms”.
“That will not go unchallenged. My thoughts are with Alireza Akbari’s family,” he wrote on Twitter.
Cleverley said his office would summon Iran’s charge d’affaires over the execution.
“This will not go unchallenged and we will summon the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires to express our disgust at Iran’s actions. Our thoughts are with Mr. Akbari’s family,” Cleverley said in a statement.
“The execution of Iranian-British Alireza Akbari is a barbaric act that deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms. With this politically motivated act, the Iranian regime has once again shown its utter disregard for human life.
The British government had urged Iran not to execute Akbari. The Foreign Office said it would continue to support his family.
Akbari previously served as Iran’s deputy defense minister and head of the Institute for Strategic Research, as well as a member of the military organization that implemented the United Nations resolution that ended the Iran-Iran war. Iraq, according to Iranian pro-reform newspaper Shargh Daily. .
The BBC reported that Akbari was arrested in 2019 and served under Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist in office from 1997 to 2005.