By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 January 2023 • 6:50
Alireza Akbari - Image Twitter MehdiRizvi123
Akbari, who was sentenced to death by hanging, was accused of being an MI6 spy who passed on sensitive military intelligence to his British handlers.
Iran said that he had received €1,8 million euros, £265,000 pounds, and $50,000 for spying.
Iran’s state media also said that he had played a role in the death of an important Iranian nuclear scientist., Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a 2020 attack outside Tehran. That attack was blamed at the time on Israel.
Akbari had professed his innocence throughout although he did admit a British agent had asked for information about Fakhrizadeh.
He spent a little over the ee years in jail during which time multiple attempts to have a stay of execution were unsuccessful.
The wife of the former deputy minister, Maryam Akbari, said on Wednesday, January 6 that relatives had been called for a “final meeting.”
She added that he had been transferred to solitary confinement, the norm in Iran before people are executed.
Arrested in 2019, Akbari, was accused of being a spy for Britain´s MI6. He has always denied the charges according to the Telegraph newspaper.
Iranian state media say Akbari was recruited by MI6 during a visit to the UK Embassy to collect a Visa after which he supplied secret military intelligence to British authorities.
Akbari is not the first Britain to be held under dubious spying with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe infamously being held for the same reason. The one similarity between the two is the holding of joint citizenship.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was finally released after the intervention of the British government.
Records seen by the BBC show Akbari saying that he was tortured into a confession, professing innocence.
Iranian officials have claimed Akbari is a “super-spy” with access to top military intelligence which he shared with his British handlers.
“Our priority is securing his immediate release and we have reiterated our request for urgent consular access.”
Whether the Foreign Office will be successful in commuting the charge of spying for MI6 appears slim, with the charges serious and the relations between the two countries at an all-time low.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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