Iran has executed a British-Iranian national who once served as its deputy defense minister, its judiciary said on Saturday, defying calls from London for his release after he was handed the death sentence on charges of spying for Britain.
Britain, which had declared the case against Alireza Akbari, 61, as politically motivated and called for his release, condemned the execution.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called it “a callous and cowardly act carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people.”
The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported the execution early on Saturday, without saying when it had taken place. Late on Friday, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had said Iran must not follow through with the sentence — a call echoed by Washington.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Paris over the execution, the ministry said in a statement, expressing its indignation about the case.
“He was also warned that Iran’s repeated violations of international law cannot go unanswered, particularly with regard to the treatment of foreign nationals whom it arbitrarily detains,” the statement added.— Agencies