Nour News has dismissed rumors that Iran’s national security chief Ali Shamkhani will be replaced after one of his former aides received the death penalty for spying.
The website close to the Supreme National Security Council in a note published Friday accused “radical circles” of spreading the rumor after Alireza Akbari a former top official close to Shamkhani was sentenced to death earlier this week as a “British spy”.
Without mentioning Shamkhani by name, Nour news said radical elements who endanger national security by making outrageous claims decided to take advantage of Akbari’s case to spread harmful rumors.
Akbari had been deputy defense minister under the reformist President Mohammad Khatami, from 1997 to 2005 and an advocate of the 2015 nuclear accord with the West.
UK foreign secretary James Cleverly Thursday called on Tehran not to execute Akbari who is dual British-Iranian citizen.
A source close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has provided documents to Iran International showing that the death sentence for Alireza Akbari was a move to weaken Shamkhani’s position in the clerical regime.
It seems that President Ebrahim Raisi, Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib and Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi are exerting pressure to remove Ali Shamkhani from the post.
In a statement published by Iran's Intelligence Ministry, Akbari was described as "one of the most important infiltrators in the country's sensitive and strategic centers". He was arrested in 2019.