Brit mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will serve full five-year prison term, Iran confirms as early release plea rejected
JAILED Brit Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will serve out her five-year prison sentence, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said today.
A British minister visiting Tehran had hoped to free the British-Iranian mum during a visit to the country.
But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told state media: “Mrs Zaghari is an Iranian.
"She has been convicted on security charges and is spending her sentence in prison.
“Iran does not recognise dual nationality.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard has raised concerns following Boris Johnson’s bid to become Britain’s new Prime Minister, making it clear that he felt Johnson should take responsibility for mistakes he believed the former Mayor of London made trying to free Nazanin in 2017.
Iran does not recognise dual nationality.
“Actions have consequences,” Richard said, branding Boris a “threat to national security.”
The former foreign secretary mistakenly said the dual British-Iranian citizen was teaching journalism in Iran, which was said to have led to a longer detention in prison and the possibility of even more charges against her.
However, Boris has recently claimed that his comments about Nazanin ‘teaching journalism’ had no effect on her treatment from the Iranian government.
At the time of her arrest, Nazanin was working as a project manager of Canadian News Agency Thomson Reuters’ charitable arm, the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Speaking during last week’s Tory leadership debate, Johnson said that affording himself the blame "is exculpating those who are seriously responsible which is the Iranian revolutionary guard."
FIVE YEAR TERM
This in contrast to November 2017, when he offered Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family a full apology.
In response to the line of argument that Nazanin’s entire defence was that she was on holiday, Boris said
“It was my mistake, I should have been clearer and I apologise for the distress and anguish caused to Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe and her family.”
It was also the government’s official position that she was on holiday at the time.
“I have apologised not just for the mistake but the way it was taken and any extra suffering and anguish my words have caused,” Boris said back in 2017, insisting that Nazanin must be released ‘on humanitarian grounds’.
Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison pressed Iran for the “urgent and unconditional release” of Zaghari-Ratcliffe on Sunday during a visit to Iran to discuss the situation in the Middle East, his ministerial area of responsibility.
Fears of a direct military confrontation between Washington and Tehran have risen sharply since Iran shot down a US drone last week and President Donald Trump called off a retaliatory strike while bombers were in the air.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.
She was sentenced after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the Foundation.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard started a hunger strike outside the Iranian Embassy in London last week to draw attention to his wife’s plight.
“We do not approve such measures.. They are against international conventions,” Mousavi said in the statement.
“If someone has a request, we advise them follow it through legal channels and let the Iranian embassy do its work.”
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