West condemns execution of British-Iranian on spying charges

Western leaders are condemning Iran for its execution of a British-Iranian dual national. Former Iranian deputy defense minister Alireza Akbari was executed on charges of spying for Britain.

Iran's judiciary announced his execution on Saturday. Akbari was arrested in 2019 on suspicion of undermining Iran's national security by spying for the UK intelligence service, MI6. Reuters says Britain has deemed the case politically motivated and, along with the United States, had been calling for his release.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the killing "was a callous and cowardly act carried out by a barbaric regime." The UK's foreign secretary has temporarily recalled the British ambassador to Iran.

US Ambassador to the UK Jane Hartley called the execution "appalling and sickening."

And French President Emmanuel Macron described it as "a despicable and barbaric act."