Iran has sentenced a former senior defence official to demise after convicting him on fees of spying for Britain, state-linked media reported on Wednesday.
The judiciary mentioned Ali Reza Akbari, who was deputy defence minister till 2001, was a “key spy” for British intelligence, the semiofficial Tasnim information company reported. It mentioned Iranian intelligence unmasked the spying by feeding him false data.
Tasnim additionally reported that he had spied on previous nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers. Akbari had served as deputy defence minister beneath former president Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who had pushed for improved relations with the West.
Akbari’s household told BBC Persian that Iranian authorities have been making ready to execute him, including that he had been transferred to solitary confinement – seen as an indication that an execution is imminent.
Alireza Akbari’s spouse, Maryam, mentioned an official had requested her to return to his jail in Tehran for a “ultimate assembly”.
BBC Persian has discovered that the execution of a British-Iranian citizen is imminent.
Alireza Akbari is discovered responsible of “spying for MI6”.
The household have been informed to have their ultimate assembly as we speak earlier than the execution, Akbari’s spouse informed BBC Persian. pic.twitter.com/DJE1d2SwTK
— Parham Ghobadi (@BBCParham) January 11, 2023
For a number of years, Iran has been locked in a shadow battle with the US and Israel, marked by covert assaults on its disputed nuclear programme. The killing of Iran’s high nuclear scientist in 2020, which Iran blamed on Israel, indicated overseas intelligence companies had made main inroads.
Akbari, who ran a non-public suppose tank, has not been seen in public since 2019, when he was apparently arrested.
Authorities haven’t launched any particulars about his trial. These accused of espionage and different crimes associated to nationwide safety are often tried behind closed doorways, the place rights teams say they don’t select their very own legal professionals and aren’t allowed to see proof towards them.
Tasnim mentioned the Supreme Court docket upheld his sentence and that he had entry to an legal professional.
Akbari had beforehand led the implementation of a 1988 cease-fire between Iran and Iraq following their devastating eight-year battle, working carefully with UN observers.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)