Iran summons British envoy to protest UK's interference in its internal affairs

Tehran, Jan 15 (IANS): The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned British Ambassador Simon Shercliff to protest the UK's "unconventional interference" in Iran's internal affairs.

The director general of the Western Europe Department of the Iranian Foreign Ministry delivered to Shercliff Iran's protest against the UK's "acts of sabotage against the Islamic republic of Iran's national security," the ministry said in a statement on its website, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The meeting came as former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Alireza Akbari was executed on Saturday on the charge of "espionage for the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)."

Pointing to "tangible information about the trap set for Alireza Akbari by the British side," the Iranian official said the British government "must be held accountable over its unconventional links that led to a breach of the Islamic Republic of Iran's national security."

The director general said that "unjustified and mischievous support for a spy is at odds with claims of seeking relations based on mutual respect."

The Iranian diplomat also stressed that "taking decisive actions" to protect Iran's security does not depend on other government's consent, particularly that of the UK, while warning that continuation of such "illegal and criminal" actions will not be tolerated by Tehran.

The Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported on Saturday that Akbari was executed on charges of spying on behalf of the UK, corruption, and acting against the country's internal and external security.

In reaction to Iran's hanging of Akbari, who held dual Iranian-British nationality, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly warned in a Saturday tweet that the execution will not "stand unchallenged."

In another tweet, Cleverly said the UK had imposed sanctions on Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri following Akbari's execution.




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Title: Iran summons British envoy to protest UK's interference in its internal affairs

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