Alireza Akbari, sentenced to death for spying, said earlier that he confessed under torture to crimes he did not commit
Iranian state media published a video on Thursday which they claimed showed British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari – who is in detention and sentenced to death for spying – playing a role in the 2020 killing of the Islamic Republic’s top nuclear scientist, a high-profile assassination Tehran accused Israel of orchestrating.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed when his car was ambushed on a highway outside Tehran in November 2020. According to The New York Times (NYT) citing unnamed American, Israeli, and Iranian officials, the assassination was carried out by Israel through a state-of-the-art remotely controlled “killer robot.”
The video released Thursday did not show Akbari confessing to involvement in the assassination, but said that a British agent asked for information about the scientist.
In a separate audio recording broadcast by BBC Persian on Wednesday, Akbari, a former Iranian deputy defense minister, said he had confessed to crimes he had not committed during months of torture in detention.
Last month, Iran – roiled by nearly four months of demonstrations triggered by the death in custody of a young woman accused of flouting the country’s strict Islamic dress code – announced that nine people will face the death penalty in Iran over the assassination. It is understood Akbari is not part of that group. Iran hanged four of the accused men days after the Supreme Court upheld their death sentence for “their intelligence cooperation with the Zionist regime (Israel) and kidnapping.”
Israel has never commented on the death of Fakhrizadeh, who was dubbed in the media as “the number one target” of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the “mastermind of Iran’s nuclear program.”
According to NYT’s report last year, the brazen, daylight attack marked “the debut test of a high-tech, computerized sharpshooter kitted out with artificial intelligence and multiple-camera eyes, operated via satellite and capable of firing 600 rounds a minute” and the “straight-out-of-science-fiction” device confounded the Iranian investigators to the point that they failed to form a coherent narrative about how Fakhrizadeh died.
Iranian reports later on Thursday said that Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and an associate of Akbari, had been relieved of his post.
Source » i24news