Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Johnson to urge Iran to free prisoner

The foreign secretary's trip to Tehran will see him urge the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Boris Johnson will urge Iran to free British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from jail when he visits Tehran.

The foreign secretary is expected to travel to Iran in the next few days.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since April 2016 after being accused of spying. She denies the claim.

Supporters of the 38-year-old from London say that she recently had a health assessment to see if she was fit enough to remain in prison.

Mr Johnson's Tehran trip will see him raising the cases of other dual nationals being held in Iran.

He will also discuss British concerns over Iranian involvement in conflicts in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Yemen.

In November Mr Johnson apologised in the Commons after telling a committee of MPs that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran.

He retracted "any suggestion she was there in a professional capacity".

Critics complained that the foreign secretary's initial comments could lead to her five-year jail term being increased.

Mr Johnson met her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, in November to discuss calls for her to be provided with diplomatic protection.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been visiting Iran with her daughter Gabriella when she was arrested

Mr Ratcliffe told BBC News his wife was due back in court on Sunday to face possible new charges and it was important Mr Johnson would be in Iran around the same time to "make clear that he thinks Nazanin is innocent and should be home with her family".

He said: "I don't know if I'm expecting him to be able to unlock it all, and she comes out with him, but it can only be a good thing that he is there".

Mr Ratcliffe said he had wanted to accompany Mr Johnson but the Foreign Office felt his presence would be "too political".

Analysis

By James Landale, BBC diplomatic correspondent

When Boris Johnson arrives in Tehran this weekend, the foreign secretary will be required to perform some nifty diplomatic footwork even before he comes to address the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

For relations between Britain and the Islamic Republic of Iran are delicate at the best of times.

It is only six years since a mob stormed and sacked Britain's embassy in Tehran.

And to some in Iran, Britain will always be seen as the "Little Satan", a former imperial power that meddles in their country's affairs at America's bidding.

Both the UK and Iran have now restored diplomatic relations. But good relations are a work in progress.

So this visit, Mr Johnson's first, is designed above all to stabilise what has at times been a difficult relationship, a trip that was planned long before the case of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe became a frontline political issue.

Read more of James Landale's analysis here.

The mother had been visiting Iran with her daughter Gabriella when she was arrested last year.

The child has been living with her maternal grandparents in Iran for the last 20 months.

Mr Ratcliffe has not seen his daughter during his wife's incarceration.

There were concerns about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's health after lumps in her breasts were discovered but those were found to be non-cancerous.

Richard Ratcliffe and Boris Johnson met at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in November

In November Mr Ratcliffe said: "She talks about being on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I absolutely believe that's true.

"I think it's important I don't exaggerate anything in the media and I'm not melodramatic, but she is in a difficult place."




Date: 07 December 2017 | Source: BBC

More UK News

May turmoil and Brexit: Possible scenarios

As the drama continues in Westminster, we look at the possible scenarios for Mrs May and her deal

Strictly Come Dancing: How (and why) it moves to Blackpool every year

The judges change in cupboards, the physio works in the disabled toilet and the props won't fit thro..

Tom Hardy made a CBE by Prince Charles

The star of Venom and Mad Max: Fury Road is honoured for services to drama at Buckingham Palace

Poverty causing 'misery' in UK, and ministers are in denial, says UN official

A UN expert from Australia says he encountered "misery" as he spent 12 days touring the UK

Rotherham child sexual abuse: Six men jailed

One victim said she had sex with "at least 100 Asian men", while another was gang-raped in a forest..

Passenger sues BA for being 'squashed next to obese man'

Stephen Prosser is suing British Airways after the 13-hour flight from Thailand to the UK
View More

More Telford News

 Work starts on medics’ houses at Telford hospital - with video

Work has started to refurbish three buildings at a Shropshire hospital in ..

 Balloon Fiesta and two other popular Telford50 events to return in 2019

Three events that attracted tens of thousands of people to Telford as part..

 Brexit storm: Defiant MPs turn backs on isolated May

Theresa May says she is staying put – as support from her own MPs continue..

 Boy, 16, guilty of murdering Derek Whyteside with cricket bat

A 16-year-old Telford boy who killed a stepfather searching for two stolen..

 Successful Telford 50 events to return in 2019

Three major events that attracted tens of thousands of people as part of Te..

 New look Arriva buses take to the roads of Shropshire

Buses across Shropshire are being given a major facelift following Arriva M..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]
[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

28 Nov 2018

Wednesday 28 November 8pm

Doors open 7.15pm

Show running time (approx): 45 minutes - 20 minutes interval - 45 minutes


Tickets £16.50

14+ (Parental Guidance). Likely to be swearing and adult content.

View Details

01 Dec 2018

9:30am - 12pm


Adult - £8.50

Child - £11.95

Family - £39

View Details

01 Dec 2018

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Please arrive 15 minutes before the start time to allow time to be seated.


Child - £14.95

Adult's - £9.95

Family Ticket - £45

View Details
View More