February 1, 2023

Persian News

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British-Iranian man appears in heavily edited ‘confession’ shown on Iranian TV

A British-Iranian man sentenced to death for allegedly spying against Iran, gave information to MI6 agents on Iran’s nuclear programme, according to a heavily-edited “confession” aired on Iranian state television.

During the video, Alireza Akbari is also asked about the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was shot dead in 2020.

“They wanted to know about high-ranking officials depending on the major developments … for example he (the British agent) asked me whether Fakhrizadeh could be involved in such and such projects and I said why not,” Mr Akbari, said in the clip.

It was aired by news agencies close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a day after Iranian officials confirmed a death sentence has been handed to Mr Akbari over charges of spying for British intelligence services.

The language in the video appears vague and the video looks disjointed – likely due to heavy editing. Iran’s state media has a history of airing purported confessions by suspects in politically charged cases to justify death and prison sentences.

Mr Akbari is an Iranian former deputy defence minister, who was arrested in 2019 and found guilty of espionage last summer. The spying allegations relate to past nuclear talks between Iran and western nations, according to reports.

Mr Akbari has said he had confessed to crimes he did not commit, following months of interrogations and alleged torture, according to a audio recording broadcast by BBC Persian.

“I was interrogated and tortured for over 3,500 hours in 10 months. All of that were recorded on camera …By using the force of gun and making death threats they made me confess to false and baseless claims,” Mr Akbari alleged in the audio message.

Britain’s foreign office had declined to comment on the videos.

British foreign office minister Leo Docherty said on Thursday in parliament: “We have no news today and it would be wrong of me to speculate about any future activities.”

The foreign secretary James Cleverly has appealed to Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the execution of Mr Akbari.

“Iran must halt the execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari and immediately release him,” he said earlier this week. “This is a politically motivated act by a barbaric regime that has total disregard for human life.”

Mr Akbari’s wife Maryam said she was invited to a “final meeting” at the prison where he has been put in solitary confinement, in an apparent sign that his execution is imminent.

Original News : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/alireza-akbari-iran-confession-video-death-b2261472.html

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