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Iran executes former official for “spying for Britain”

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Tehran: Former Iranian deputy defense minister Alireza Akbari was executed on charges of “espionage against the country,” the Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported on Saturday.

Akbari was charged with “espionage on behalf of Britain,” “corruption on earth” — a term used by Iranian authorities to refer to a range of offenses including those related to violating Islamic codes — and “acting against the country’s internal and external security,” the report said.

According to the indictment issued against him, Akbari had “acted against Iran’s national security through spying on behalf of and cooperating with the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6, and had held numerous meetings with enemies’ intelligence officers in different countries.

His anti-Iran actions had “caused severe and extensive disruption in the country’s public order,” read the indictment.

Mizan added Akbari had received 1.8 million euros (1.95 million U.S. dollars), 256,000 British pounds (313,100 U.S. dollars) and 50,000 U.S. dollars in return for spying for the SIS.

In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said Akbari had penetrated the country’s sensitive strategic centers, collected important data, and sent them to the SIS deliberately.

It described Akbari as one of “the most important” agents of SIS, owing to his important position and access to sensitive data, adding that he was identified and arrested after a lengthy process.

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