Iran says the United Kingdom fumes over intelligence failure after a senior Iranian official, Alireza Akbari, was executed for spying for the British intelligence agency.
“The UK is not upset about Akbari's execution; Britain always causes victims to achieve its espionage goals, but it is now angry about the intelligence failure,” Ebrahim Azizi, deputy chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said.
He explained that Akbari has acted against a nation and imperiled precious defense and security intelligence.
“Spy elements are all treated harshly across the world and this is an internationally recognized fact,” Azizi added.
He said that what the British are upset about is the fact that they have found out that they were making decisions based on wrong information fed to them by Iran’s intelligence services all along.
“They have invested on someone for years, and now they realized that Iranian intelligence services kept close watch on him, and that has infuriated them,” he added.
It is unnecessary to respond to the “baseless, unfounded, and irrational” statements with no national and international legal basis about Akbari’s execution, he concluded.
Akbari was arrested in 2019. He had received 1,805,000 euros, 265,000 pounds, and $50,000 for espionage activities for the United Kingdom.
Iran’s Judiciary said the convict, who had been sentenced to death on charges of “corruption on earth” and “extensive activities against the country’s internal and external security” through espionage for the British government’s spy agency, was hanged on Saturday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry described Akbari as “one of the most infiltrating agents of the spying service of the evil UK in the country’s sensitive and strategic centers,” noting that he was identified and arrested after a “long and multi-layered process” involving “counter-intelligence” and “deception operation.”
The “key spy,” according to the ministry, had sent the acquired information from sensitive centers to the enemy’s spy service on several occasions while being “completely aware” of his actions.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly appealed for the spy’s release when reports of his planned execution emerged earlier in the week, saying in a tweet, “Iran must halt the execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari and immediately release him.”
The United Kingdom has a long history of spying activities in Iran which can be traced back to the 1953 coup against the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq.
Iranian intelligence forces have arrested many foreign-linked spies in the past years who had been involved in acts of sabotage against Iranian people and facilities in the past decades.
The British government was also actively involved in the instigation of the recent foreign-backed riots in Iran after the death of a young woman of Kurdish descent.
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