Former Senior Official Alireza Akbari Executed for Espionage Charges

Jan. 14, 2023, 5:19 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); January 14, 2023: Alireza Akbari, an Iranian-British national and former senior Ministry of Defence employee who was sentenced to death for charges of efsad-fil-arz through espionage, has been executed.

Underlining that the purpose of all executions is to create societal fear, Iran Human Rights considers Alireza Akbari’s execution to lack any legal validity and an attempt to advance its hostage-diplomacy against European countries to ease political pressure.

Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “The execution of Alireza Akbari while the UK and the European Union are considering putting IRGC on their lists of terrorist organisations, is without any doubt part of the Islamic Republic’s hostage-diplomacy. Giving in to IR pressure will put European dual citizens at more risk of arrest and execution.”

On January 14, Mizan news agency reported the execution of Alireza Akbari, citing the Judiciary’s media centre. Alireza Akbari was an Iranian-British citizen and former senior Ministry of Defence employee sentenced to death on charges of efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) and widespread action against the national and international security of the country through espionage for the British intelligence services.” The report does not specify the exact date and location of the execution.

Alireza’s brother, Mehdi Akbari previously told the BBC that his brother was an advisor in the nuclear negotiations. He had returned to Iran in the summer of 2019 at the invitation of Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and placed under the “security umbrella of the Ministry of Intelligence and interrogated in safe houses and hotels” from the outset. In tapes published by the BBC, Alireza Akbari denied all espionage charges against him.

Alireza Akbari’s execution has been condemned by UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.