Iran sentences UK 'master spy' to death

Iran has sentenced a former top politician to death on espionage charges, media reports in the country and abroad say.

Alireza Akbari was unmasked as one of the "most important agents for British intelligence" and was charged with revealing state secrets, the Iranian judicial website Mizan wrote.

The verdict by the Supreme Court is final, it added.

For days, rumours had been circulating in the Iranian capital Tehran about the identity of a jailed politician who had been unmasked as a "master spy".

According to reports, however, the case could also point to an internal power struggle in Tehran.

As a former deputy defence minister, Akbari had cultivated a close relationship with politicians who were trying to mediate and reconcile after the recent wave of protests, the UK-based website reported.

Akbari holds dual Iranian and UK citizenship.

There have been repeated reports of arrests, detentions and even executions of Iranian agents suspected of working for foreign intelligence services, especially the Israeli agency Mossad or the CIA in the US.

The Iranian claims usually cannot be independently verified, and arrests and trials are kept secret.

with Reuters