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    HomeWorldIran Hangs Former Defense Ministry Official Over Spy Claim

    Iran Hangs Former Defense Ministry Official Over Spy Claim

    Iran Hangs Former Defense Ministry Official Over Spy Claim

    , United Arab Emirates (AP) — said Saturday it executed a former high-ranking defense ministry official and dual Iranian-British national, despite international warnings not to carry out the death sentence. The execution further escalated tensions with the West amid the nationwide anti-government protests shaking the Islamic Republic.

    The hanging of Ali Reza Akbari, a close ally of top security official Ali Shamkhani, suggests an ongoing struggle within Iran's theocracy as it tries to contain the demonstrations over the September death of Mahsa Amini. It also harkened back to the mass purges of the that immediately followed Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Akbari's hanging drew immediate anger from London, which along with the U.S. and others has sanctioned Iran over the protests and its supplying Russia with the bomb-carrying drones now targeting Ukraine.

    “This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

    Foreign Secretary James Cleverly summoned Iran's chargé d'affaires in the United Kingdom and separately warned: “This will not stand unchallenged.”

    The United Kingdom sanctioned Iran's prosecutor-general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, on Saturday night “with immediate effect” over Akbari's execution.

    Iran similarly summoned the British ambassador after the…

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