Iranian-British Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, held in Iran since 2016, returned to the United Kingdom

Portrait of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, undated.

Iranian-British Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained in Iran since 2016 where she was convicted of treason, which she has always denied, is on her way back to the United Kingdom, announced a British lawmaker on Wednesday 16 March. “Nazneen is now in the air, leaving six years of hell in Iran”, but said Twitter Tulip Siddiq, Labor MP for the constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn (North London), where Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe lives.

In Tehran, the official Iranian media confirmed that the Iranian-Britain ” Distribution “ to the British Government. The latter also announced the release of a second captive on Wednesday. Anusheh Ashuri, a retired Iranian-British engineer, was arrested in August 2017 while visiting his mother and sentenced to ten years in prison for spying for Israel. “I can confirm that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anusheh Ashuri will return to the UK today” and “they will be reunited with their families later today”claimed on Twitter Head of Diplomacy Liz Truss.

“They have faced hardships that no family should ever experience, and it is a moment of great relief”she added in a press release, welcoming “The result of tenacious and constructive British diplomacy”.

a repaid loan

His release came after London announced it had settled an old debt of around £400 million (476 million euros) with Tehran, without establishing a link between the two cases. Iran confirms receipt of debt settlement.

this debt “Was decided in full respect of UK and international sanctions” , And this money will be reserved only for the purchase of humanitarian goods., assured Liz Truss. In the morning, the British Foreign Secretary said BBC that he prioritized “To make sure we repay the debt we pay the Iranian authorities properly”.

On several occasions, Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and the father of their little girl Gabriella, denounced that his wife was“hostage” A sinister political play related to this debt contracted by the United Kingdom within the framework of an arms contract. He also went on two hunger strikes to warn of the fate of his companions. The last lasted twenty-one days, in the fall of 2021.

conspiracy charge

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, recovered her passport on Tuesday, raising hopes of an early release. Project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the news agency of the same name, she was arrested in 2016 in Tehran, where she had come to visit her family. She was accused of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran, which she vehemently denies, and sentenced to five years in prison.

After serving his sentence, he was again, in late April 2021, sentenced to a year in prison for participating in a rally outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009. In October 2021, he had lost his phone, due to which his relatives had to go to jail. Fearing an imminent return to prison, he was authorized to be released in March 2020 with an electronic bracelet due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A dozen Westerners were detained

As the Islamic Republic of Iran detained more than a dozen Western passport holders, Liz Truss announced that London would continue to work for the departure from Iran of Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American also with British nationality, Was sentenced to ten years in prison. “Conspiracy with America” And who was released on parole.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that a team of UK negotiators was working to secure the release of several dual nationals in Tehran.

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