The Iranian regime has used Prince Harry’s confession that he killed 25 Taliban in Afghanistan against the British government amid the escalating row over the execution of Alireza Akbari.
In a string of tweets criticizing Britain’s outrage over the killing of the British-Iranian dual national who was accused of spying, Iran claimed the country was ‘in no position to preach’.
The official Twitter account of the Iran Foreign Ministry accused the Duke of Sussex of showing no remorse over the killings of ‘innocent’ lives and accused Britain of allowing this ‘war crime’.
It said: ‘The British regime, whose royal family member, sees the killing of 25 innocent people as removal of chess pieces and has no regrets over the issue, and those who turn a blind eye to this war crime, are in no position to preach others on human rights.’
The post was referring to a controversial passage about the death count from Harry’s new memoir Spare.
His comments, which have also sparked security fears, have already provided the Taliban and extremist Anjem Choudary with ammunition to spout propaganda against British troops.
The former soldier used his book to detail how he had gunned down 25 militants, feeling neither satisfaction nor shame about his actions while serving in Afghanistan some 10 years ago.
He added that to in order deal with the incidents he dehumanised his victims by seeing them as ‘chess pieces’ and not people.
The passage was seized on by the Iranian regime as tensions between Tehran and London escalate in the wake of Akbari’s execution.
Akbari, 61, had moved to the UK with an investment visa and had become a naturalised citizen here but was lured back to Iran by the security services three years ago. But the ex-deputy Iranian defence minister was arrested in 2019 and convicted of spying for the UK, a charge which he denied.
His death last week has caused outrage in Britain with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling it a ‘callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime’.
Ministers have imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on the Iranian prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has also temporarily withdrawn Britain’s ambassador to Iran, Simon Shercliff.
The UK is now considering designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful wing of its military, as a terrorist organisation in a sign of its hardening stance towards the Islamic republic.
In the string of Tweets, the Iran Foreign Ministry branded Britain’s ‘uproar and the support of some European self-proclaimed defenders of human rights’ as a ‘sign of their evasion and violation of law’.
It added: ‘Britain’s encroachment on the national security of the Islamic republic of Iran has been met with a decisive response from the Iranian intelligence &Judiciary.’
Tensions between the West and Iran are already running high over Tehran’s crackdown on nationwide protests for women’s right – as well as its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with drones.
Iran has arrested at least 14,000 people in the wave of protests sparked by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who had been arrested for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women.
Journalists, filmmakers, lawyers, and activists have been arrested, and several executions have been reported as well as the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the clashes between Iran’s security forces.