Boris Johnson Leaves Iran With Fate of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Unclear

Danny Woods
December 11, 2017

The mother-of-one is serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly planning the "soft toppling" of Iran's government, and has been imprisoned since April 2016.

"It's really not a good sign that A she's been taken to court on December the 10 and B there's this sought of very aggressive propaganda campaign that's been put out in the media.she's been very fragile and been down to the doctor's quite a lot and again was trying to see a psychiatrist just to be able to talk through and that had been banned for a few weeks".

Mr Ratcliffe said he was expecting to receive a full debrief from the Foreign Office on either Monday or Tuesday.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested on a visit to see her parents with her infant daughter Gabriella.

Mr Johnson's trip to Tehran is only the third by a United Kingdom foreign secretary since 2003 and comes at a time of tension in the Middle East over Donald Trump's announcement that he is recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The case was further complicated when Mr Johnson told a parliamentary committee in November that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in Iran to train journalists.

Worldwide sanctions have only recently been lifted as part of a multilateral nuclear deal to curb Iran's disputed uranium enrichment program.

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On Saturday, Mr Ratcliffe, who has been campaigning for his wife's release, said he hoped Mr Johnson would be "persuasive and charming and build a good relationship".

"Both spoke forthrightly about the obstacles in the relationship and agreed on the need to make progress in all areas", said a spokesperson for Britain's foreign office after Johnson concluded what was only the third visit to Iran by a British foreign minister in the past 14 years.

"This visit comes at a crucial time for the Gulf region and provides an opportunity to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen, the future of the Iran nuclear deal and the current volatility in the Middle East", the spokesman said.

The president went on as saying "we are Muslim and Iranian, and we have a long and old culture, we are not the one who violates the nuclear agreement".

He released a statement prior to his arrival, saying: "I will stress my grave concerns about our dual national consular cases and press for their release where there are humanitarian grounds to do so". They do not recognise dual nationality.

The Foreign Office has declined to name the other individuals involved - or even identify the number in jail - after their families asked for their cases to be kept out of the public eye.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian demonstrators attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in response to the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite dissident leader.

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