UK should be held accountable for massively spying on Iran: MP

January 17, 2023 - 22:39

TEHRAN – Iranian lawmaker Jalil Rahimi Jahan Abadi has called for holding the UK accountable for massively spying on Iran in security-defense issues.

Jahan Abadi, who is a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, defended the execution of Alireza Akbari, an Iranian-British citizen recently hanged after being convicted of spying for the UK. 

“All over the world, spies and those who take actions against national security are sentenced to life imprisonment or death. In Iran, a person as an important figure in the Ministry of Defense and the Supreme National Security Council has passed extremely valuable information to the British and spied for them,” the lawmaker told the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA).

He added, “This person has confessed to all the cases that show through the information he has transmitted what actions he has taken against the security of the country and what damage has been done to our security. Therefore, we consider the punishment sentence issued based on the domestic criminal laws of the country to be fair. Usually, countries consider the death penalty for spying at this level.”

The UK has summoned the Iranian ambassador and recalled its ambassador to Tehran for more consultations in the wake of the execution. It also imposed sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities. 
Commenting on the UK response, Jahan Abadi said, “It is natural for the British to react to the execution of a person who was a valuable asset for them, who spied, acted in their favor and against the national interests of his country, and sold information to the British.”

He added, “By the way, we have to be in the position of demanding that the British country has carried out extensive espionage at this level in our security-defense issues. England's words have no legal basis, it is a clear interference in our internal affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must give a firm answer to the British's clear interference.”

In reaction to unreasonable interferences of Britain in the Islamic Republic’s national security, British Ambassador to Tehran Simon Shercliff on Saturday noon was summoned by the director general of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s West European Department, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
In the meeting, Iran’s protest was filed with the British government against acts of sabotage against national security.

The director general of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s West European Department pointed to tangible information about the trap set for Alireza Akbari by the British side, saying the UK government must be held accountable over its unconventional links that led to a breach of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s national security. The director general noted that unjustified and mischievous support for a spy is at odds with claims of seeking relations based on mutual respect.

The Foreign Ministry official stressed that a decisive action on the part of Iran to safeguard its national security wouldn’t be contingent upon consent of other governments including Britain and said the continuation of such illegal and criminal acts will not be tolerated.

The director general added that the British government must accept responsibility for the implications of continuing its unconventional and meddlesome approach.

It was further underlined that under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, dual nationality is not accepted and Britain’s meddling and destructive statements under this pretext are unwarranted.

The director general, at the end, once again condemned any threatening and unreasonable act against Iran’s national security and demanded that the British ambassador reflect the matter to London.

Simon Shercliff said that he would convey Iran’s views to the British government.

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