Iran summons UK ambassador to Tehran after executing Iranian-British Alireza Akbari

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned on Saturday the British ambassador to Tehran hours after the Islamic Republic executed an Iranian-British dual national for allegedly spying for Britain, state media reported.

The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan news agency said on Saturday 61-year-old Alireza Akbari was executed after being convicted of spying for MI6.

Akbari, who was arrested in 2019 and whose death sentence was announced on Wednesday, served as a deputy defense minister during the tenure of former president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005).

The British ambassador, Simon Shercliff, was summoned “in response to Britain’s unconventional interventions, including in the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” state news agency IRNA said.

“The British government should be held accountable for establishing unconventional communications leading to an attack on (Iran’s) national security,” IRNA cited a foreign ministry official as saying.

“The continuation of such illegal and criminal actions cannot be tolerated in any way,” the official said, adding that “the British government must accept the consequences of the responsibility of continuing its unorthodox and interventionist approach.”

Britain said on Saturday it had imposed sanctions on Iran’s Prosecutor General, Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri, in response to Akbari’s execution.

“Sanctioning him today underlines our disgust at Alireza Akbari’s execution,” British foreign minister James Cleverly wrote on Twitter.

“The Prosecutor General is at the heart of Iran’s use of the death penalty. We’re holding the regime to account for its appalling human rights violations.”

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