Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be released, Johnson tells Iran's president

BBC News 1 month ago

Boris Johnson has called for the release of detained British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a meeting with Iran's president.

The prime minister invited his counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, to London "where we can discuss things more".

The pair spoke at a UN summit in New York on Tuesday amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran.

No 10 said Mr Johnson also raised "deep concern about Iran's destabilising activity in the region".

Their meeting came after Mr Johnson blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

In the lead up to the summit, Mr Johnson faced pressure to take a tougher line over the detention of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals held in Tehran.

Mrs Zahgari-Ratcliffe is half way through a five-year jail term after she was convicted of spying in 2016 - which she denies.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, urged Mr Johnson to tell his Iranian counterpart "enough is enough" and former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said he should call out Iran for its "diplomatic hostage taking".

Downing Street said the prime minister called for the "immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals illegally imprisoned in Iran" during his meeting with Mr Rouhani.

A number of people with dual Iranian and foreign nationality have been held in Iran in recent years and two British-Australian women and an Australian man were detained in September.

Speaking to the Iranian president, Mr Johnson said the UK had "serious concerns about the detention of dual nationals in Tehran and we are looking forward to make progress on that".

He added that his visit to Tehran in 2017 while he was foreign secretary was "very productive but so far inconclusive".

"I think we still have a lot of progress to make," he added.

'Nuclear deal defects'

In a departure from previous UK policy, Mr Johnson also criticised the Iran nuclear deal - under which Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

He said the deal - known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - had "many defects".

But he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to the deal in a joint statement with France and Germany.

Downing Street later said the prime minister had confirmed the UK's "continuing support" for the JCPOA "and stressed the need for dialogue, including on a comprehensive successor deal".

The future of the nuclear deal has been uncertain since the US abandoned the agreement in 2018.

Emmanuel Macron and Hassan Rouhani
French President Emmanuel Macron also held talks with Mr Rouhani during the summit

In July, Iran said it would be breaching the deal by breaking a limit set on uranium enrichment - but the UK, France and Germany reiterated their support for the deal.

Tensions between the UK and Iran have worsened in recent months following a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.

Relations strained further on Monday after the UK, France and Germany agreed that Iran was responsible for the attack on Saudi oil facilities on 14 September.

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Mirror Online › 1 month ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe remains jailed in a notorious prison in Iran as husband Richard Ratcliffe campaigns for her return too
The Guardian › Politics › 1 month ago
PM calls on Hassan Rouhani to make progress in securing release of detainees in Iran, and invites him to visit BritainBritish prime minister Boris Johnson has called for the immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals...
The Independent › Politics › 1 month ago
'If the government is listening you need to pay the debt back so that my constituent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is released,' says MP
The Sun › 1 month ago
THE five-year-old daughter of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has arrived back in the UK after spending more than years in Iran with her jailed mum. Gabriella was living with her grandparents and would visit her British-Iranian mum in the notorious Evin...
Evening Standard › 1 month ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has told how she will have "no hope or motivation" left after her daughter returns to London while she remains in an Iran jail.
Daily Mail Online › 1 month ago
Dominic Raab has demanded the Iranian government end the 'callous and cruel detainment' of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as she sends her five-year-old daughter back to the UK.
Evening Standard › 1 month ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband has said an "important lifeline has been taken away" as their five-year-old daughter arrived back in the UK after spending nearly four years in Iran.
Express › 1 month ago
HEARTWARMING images have been released of the moment the daughter of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman wrongly jailed in Tehran, was reunited with her father.
BBC News › 1 month ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is giving up weekly visits from her daughter so she can start school in the UK.
Evening Standard › 1 month ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's five-year-old daughter has arrived back in the UK.
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