New Secretary of State Liz Truss has vowed to push for the immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during talks with Iran in New York.
Ms Truss is due to meet her Iranian counterpart Hussein Amir-Abdullahian at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday after their meeting was postponed from earlier this week.
The foreign minister said she would be “stubborn” and “proactive” in her approach to ensuring the release of British-Iranian prisoners.
He said: “I have already spoken to the families of the detainees in Iran.
“It is completely unacceptable that he is being kept there and I will be very active in pushing for his release. “
Asked what she would say to Iranians, she said she would push for the “immediate release” of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
mame zagari-ratcliffe He is one of several British dual nationals currently detained in Iran.
He was arrested in 2016 while taking his daughter Gabrielle to see his family in Tehran and detained on espionage charges – charges that have been widely denied.
However, her husband – Richard Ratcliffe – told Sky News on Monday that he is “not very confident” about the success in his case.
He had a 10-minute phone call with Ms Truss and said that his wife’s case should be given top priority as the government deals with hostage takers.
Mr Ratcliffe told Kay Burley that his wife felt “more reassured” after his call, but believes there is more time for the matter to come to the fore.
“There were a lot of foreign secretaries who met with the Iranians, there was a lot of talks, especially last year,” he said.
“I spoke to the former foreign minister” [Dominic Raab] A month ago he said ‘Look, we’ve come really close but we haven’t crossed the border’.
“I think there has been a change of leadership in Iran as well.
“We have to see where things are and if things are where they were, in which case it can be quite encouraging, or if they have retreated too far.”
Secretary of State James Cleverly told LBC a day earlier that he believed Ms Truss would bring “energy” to the talks.
Ms. is expected to also discuss the cases of Truss detainees Anusheh Ashuri and Morad Tehbaz, and call on the country to honor its nuclear commitments.
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