Iran refuses to release body of executed British-Iranian Alireza Akbari, MPs told

Alireza Akbari, a former Tehran defence official, was executed after being accused of spying for MI6 by Iran. Credit: Davoud Hosseini, IRNA via AP

Iran has refused to release the body of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari who was executed by the Tehran regime, MPs have heard.

Mr Akbari, a former Tehran defence official, was killed after being accused of spying for MI6 - charges his family deny.

Andy Slaughter, the MP for Hammersmith and the constituency MP for the Akbari family told the Commons on Monday the Iranian regime had refused to release the British-Iranian and had threatened to destroy his body.The family has also been told the burial has already taken place, Mr Slaughter said.

Mr Slaughter told MPs: “Earlier today I spoke to Mr Akbari’s daughter in the UK, and she asked me to raise a further distressing matter with the foreign secretary.

“The regime refuses to release Mr Akbari’s body or to allow burial in the place chosen by him, and have made threats to destroy his body unless the family co-operates with their instructions.

“The cemetery where they were told he should be buried informed the family that burial already took place last week, casting doubt on the time of his execution.

“Will the foreign secretary meet with me and the family in the UK, and do what His Majesty’s Government can to ensure that in death, if not in life, Mr Akbari is treated with dignity and respect?”

Andy Slaughter said he had been told by Mr Akbari family Tehran were refusing to release his body. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the issues raised by Mr Slaughter “fill us all with revulsion”, and said the government will continue to support the family.

The killing was “shameful” and Mr Akbari “fell victim to the political vendettas of a vicious regime”, Mr Cleverly said.

Mr Slaughter said he had “extensive contact for the past few difficult days” with the dual national’s family.

Iranian media announced on Saturday that Mr Akbari had been executed but it is believed he may have been killed a few days earlier.

In its immediate response to the killing, the UK government sanctioned Iran’s prosecutor general Mohammad Jafar Montazer.

Addressing the execution directly, Mr Cleverly said in his statement: “Let there be no doubt, he fell victim to the political vendettas of a vicious regime.

“His execution was the cowardly and shameful act of a leadership which thinks nothing of using the death penalty as a political tool to silence dissent and settle internal scores.

“Our message to that regime is clear: the world is watching you and you will be held to account, particularly by the brave Iranian people, so many of whom you are oppressing and killing,” he added.

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