Alireza Akbari, who was once the deputy defense minister of Iran, holds both Iranian and British citizenship. He was convicted of spying for Britain and has been sentenced to death.
On Wednesday, a day after Akbari’s wife publicized his case, Britain demanded that Iran halt his execution and immediately release him. Britain also requested consulate access to him in Tehran.
But Iran does not recognize dual nationality and prosecutes dual nationals as Iranian citizens. It has also recently executed four people. And on Tuesday, Akbari’s wife told BBC Persian that his family had been told that they would be granted a final visit before his imminent execution.
Akbari served the Islamic Republic in senior roles before he moved to Britain, where he lived for a decade. In 2019, while in Iran, he was arrested on allegations of being a “super spy” for MI6.
In an audio message obtained by BBC Persian, Akbari suggested that Iran wanted to “take revenge” on Britain by executing him. He said he had been tortured and given psychedelic drugs that forced him to confess.
Iran also sentenced Olivier Vandecasteele, a Belgian aid worker, to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes on charges of espionage, money laundering and currency smuggling. He has denied all charges