Opinion: Life of an Iranian official is becoming not only difficult, but also dangerous

13.01.2023, Moscow.

An international scandal erupted in Iran. A high-ranking official who worked for Britain’s MI6 intelligence service was sentenced to death.

Alireza Akbari was deputy defense minister under the reformist Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran from 1997 to 2005. He was close to Ali Shamkhani, the current secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (now in charge of contacts with Russia), and he was a supporter of the nuclear deal with Iran.

This story is extremely confusing. And each side has its own version of what is happening.

The head of the British Foreign Office called for the release of Akbari and called the verdict a politically motivated act of the barbaric regime.

Akbari, along with his family, had lived in the UK for more than 10 years. He was arrested in 2019. Akbari’s wife claims her husband is a patriot, and his confession of cooperation with MI6 was obtained under torture.

Iran claims Akbari was “one of the most important agents of the British intelligence service, who collected important information and provided it to the British intelligence service.” The official decided to send his family to the West and made some kind of pact with the intelligence services to get a chance to live well in the West.

There is also an expert opinion that Akbari’s sentence is a warning (or even a threat) to those officials with dual citizenship, as well as to Shamkhani himself, whose deputy Akbari was.

Against the backdrop of the protests, which the Iranian authorities accuse foreign intelligence services of spinning, the case has taken on great resonance.

First of all, it is clear that no intelligence agency can work without support from within Iran. Secondly, there is talk that some officials are taking their families and money out of the country amidst the protests.

Perhaps this is what led to the resumption of hearings in the Iranian parliament on the controversial bill on the Travel Ban on Former Officials.

The situation in the country has become very tense due the protests, and it has led to a search for those to blame within the country. Of course, one can always find someone to blame. The split in the Iranian elite is represented by speeches against the spiritual leader and in support of the protesters. One recent example is that the daughter of the former president of Iran Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani was sentenced to 5 years in prison for calling for protests. The internal struggle continues…

Translated from https://t.me/OrientalStories/591

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