Iran hangs former defence ministry official for spying for UK | News

Akbari was a former deputy defence minister, who Iran alleges shared data on senior officers.

Tehran, Iran – Iran has executed a former deputy defence minister on allegations of spying for the UK.

The judiciary’s official information outlet confirmed on Saturday morning that Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian twin nationwide, was hanged after being convicted of “corruption on Earth” and performing in opposition to nationwide safety by spying for British intelligence.

It added that Akbari was earlier sentenced to loss of life for “harming the nation’s inner and exterior safety by passing on intelligence”.

“The actions of the British spy service on this case have proven the worth of the convict, the significance of his entry and the enemy’s belief in him,” it added.

It claimed he had obtained coaching from the MI-6, established shell firms to thwart Iranian intelligence providers, had intelligence conferences in varied nations, together with Austria and the UAE, and obtained British citizenship as a reward for “betraying” his nation.

British Overseas Minister James Cleverly had beforehand referred to as for a halt to Akbari’s execution, saying “it is a politically motivated act by a barbaric regime that has complete disregard for human life”. America had additionally referred to as for stopping the execution.

Akbari was alleged to have handed on details about dozens of senior Iranian officers, together with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a high nuclear scientist assassinated in a city close to Tehran in 2020. Iran blamed the assault on Israel.

In keeping with the Iranian judiciary, Akbari started working with British intelligence in 2004 for 5 years earlier than leaving the nation. In 2009, he was allegedly suggested by the UK to depart Iran.

Akbari then allegedly re-entered Iran a number of years later to proceed his actions, and was finally arrested.

The judiciary didn’t announce the date of his arrest however he was reportedly taken into custody in 2019.

Earlier this week, the state-run IRNA information company launched a video purporting to indicate “confessions” by Akbari, who is claimed to have been an in depth ally of Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s present safety chief and defence minister from 1997 to 2005, when Akbari was his deputy.

Akbari’s household had instructed British media he was harmless and had fallen sufferer to “political video games” in Iran.

Belarus summons Ukraine envoy over stray air defence missile | Russia-Ukraine war News

Minsk says it downed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile amid a wave of Russian assaults on cities throughout Ukraine.

Belarus has protested to Ukraine’s ambassador after saying it had downed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile in a discipline, throughout one in every of Russia’s heaviest aerial onslaughts for the reason that begin of the warfare.

The navy commissar of Belarus’s southwestern area of Brest, Oleg Konovalov, performed Thursday’s incident down in a video posted on social media by the state-run BelTA information company, saying locals had “completely nothing to fret about”.

“Sadly, these items occur,” he stated.

Konovalov in contrast the incident to 1 in November, when an S-300 believed to have strayed after being fired by Ukrainian air defences landed on the territory of NATO-member Poland, triggering fears of an escalation that had been quickly defused.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainian ambassador was summoned to the overseas ministry in Minsk to obtain a proper protest.

“The Belarusian facet views this incident as extraordinarily critical,” Anatoly Glaz, a spokesman for the ministry, stated.

“We demanded that the Ukrainian facet conduct an intensive investigation … [and] maintain these accountable to account and take complete measures to stop the recurrence of such incidents sooner or later.”

A Ukrainian navy spokesman in impact acknowledged the missile was a Ukrainian stray, saying the incident was “nothing unusual, a results of air defence” and one thing that “has occurred greater than as soon as”.

Soviet-era defence system

The S-300 is a Soviet-era air defence system utilized by each Russia and Ukraine.

Belarus stated the missile had come down close to the village of Harbacha within the Brest area, some 15km (9 miles) from the border with Ukraine, at round 10am native time (07:00 GMT).

“Fragments had been present in an agricultural discipline … the wreckage belongs to an S-300 anti-aircraft guided missile fired from the territory of Ukraine,” the nation’s defence ministry stated.

The incident occurred as Russia was launching its newest wave of missile assaults on cities throughout Ukraine.

BelTA revealed images and video of what it stated had been elements of an S-300 missile mendacity in an empty discipline.

Belarus allowed Moscow to make use of its territory in February as a launchpad for the invasion of Ukraine, and there was a rising flurry of Russian and Belarusian navy exercise in Belarus in latest months.

Minsk has, nonetheless, insisted that it’s not collaborating within the warfare, and won’t take part except its personal safety is threatened by Ukraine or Ukraine’s Western allies.

Whereas Kyiv has used the S-300 system to intercept incoming Russian missiles, Russia has appeared to make use of repurposed S-300 missiles to assault floor targets.

US warns of expanding Iran, Russia defence ‘partnership’ | Weapons News

The USA has accused Russia of offering superior army help to Iran, together with air defence methods, because it warned of deepening defence ties between Moscow and Tehran, with Russia utilizing Iranian drones to hit targets in Ukraine.

White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby cited US intelligence assessments for the allegations, saying Russia was providing Iran “an unprecedented stage of army and technical help that’s reworking their relationship right into a full-fledged protection partnership”.

Washington has beforehand condemned safety cooperation between Iran and Russia however on Friday described an in depth relationship involving gear akin to helicopters and fighter jets in addition to drones, with the latter gadgets leading to new US sanctions.

Kirby mentioned Russia and Iran have been contemplating organising a drone meeting line in Russia for the Ukraine battle, whereas Russia was coaching Iranian pilots on the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter, with Iran doubtlessly receiving deliveries of the airplane throughout the yr.

“These fighter planes will considerably strengthen Iran’s air drive relative to its regional neighbours,” Kirby mentioned.

Western powers have accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia for its battle towards Ukraine, as Moscow batters the nation’s power infrastructure looking for a bonus within the bloody battle.

Kirby mentioned the US would sanction three Russian-based entities energetic in “the acquisition and use of Iranian drones”.

The sanctions apply to the Russian Aerospace Forces, the 924th State Centre for Unmanned Aviation and the Command of the Navy Transport Aviation.

“The USA will proceed to make use of each device at our disposal to disrupt these transfers and impose penalties on these engaged on this exercise,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in a press release on the sanctions.

Final month, Tehran admitted it had despatched drones to Russia however insisted they have been equipped earlier than Moscow’s Ukraine invasion.

‘Sordid offers’

The US additionally believes Iran is contemplating the sale of “a whole lot of ballistic missiles” to Russia, Kirby mentioned.

The UK’s international secretary James Cleverly took intention on the “sordid offers” between Moscow and Tehran, saying in a press release that Iran had despatched drones to Russia in alternate for “army and technical help” from Moscow.

This “will enhance the chance it poses to our companions within the Center East and to worldwide safety,” Cleverly mentioned, promising that “the UK will proceed to show this determined alliance and maintain each nations to account”.

For its half, Moscow has accused the West of supplying weapons to Ukraine which are ending up within the arms of dangerous actors, not solely in Europe but in addition in Africa and the Center East.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, referred to the latest feedback by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari who mentioned weapons and fighters from Ukraine have been making their technique to the Lake Chad area and serving to violent teams.

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey mentioned the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, didn’t immediately tackle Nebenzya’s claims, which have been made forward of a UN Safety Council assembly on Friday, however said that Ukraine had a proper to defend itself from Russia.

“She went on to say that the UK believes that purchasing weapons from Iran is in violation of worldwide agreements and past the drones, she alleged that Russia is now attempting to get ballistic missiles from Iran and in addition attempting to make offers with nations like North Korea,” Saloomey mentioned, talking from the UN headquarters in New York.

‘Disappointing’ Merkel assertion

In the meantime, President Vladimir Putin mentioned that any nation that launches a nuclear assault on Moscow could be “worn out” and that Russian weapons may forcefully reply.

He additionally expressed his disappointment at former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s latest statements on Ukraine and on the Minsk agreements.

The events to the Minsk agreements, which led to a ceasefire deal between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in japanese Ukraine in 2014 and 2015, had betrayed Russia by supplying Ukraine with weapons, Putin mentioned.

In an interview revealed in Germany’s Zeit journal on Wednesday, Merkel mentioned the Minsk agreements had been an try to “give Ukraine time” to construct up its defences.

Russia interpreted Merkel’s statements to imply that the Minsk peace plan was solely concluded to present Ukraine time to arm itself and put together for battle with Russia.

“Truthfully, this was completely sudden for me. It’s disappointing. I frankly didn’t anticipate to listen to one thing like this from the previous German chancellor,” Putin instructed journalists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

“I’ve at all times assumed that the management of the federal republic of Germany would behave sincerely in the direction of us,” Putin mentioned.

“However it nonetheless appeared to me that the management of Germany was at all times honest in its efforts to discover a resolution primarily based on the rules that we agreed on and that have been reached, amongst different issues, within the framework of the Minsk course of.”