Sun, 7 March 2021

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By Peter Bottomley MP and Lord Chiswick
Press releases

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe husband ‘biting nails’ over Boris Johnson Iran visit

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe husband ‘biting nails’ over Boris Johnson Iran visit
2 min read

Richard Ratcliffe has said he is “waiting on tenterhooks and biting his nails” as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson flies to Iran to try to release his wife Nazanin from prison.

Mr Johnson’s will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif over an issue which could yet see him lose his Cabinet role.

The Foreign Secretary came in for severe criticism after he told MPs that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in Iran "training journalists" when she was arrested 18 months ago on spying charges.

His comments were pounced on by the Iranian regime, who warned it could lead to her jail term being doubled to 10 years.

“I’m really pleased he is there in time for Nazanin’s trial and waiting to see what will happen, and trying not to have too clear expectations at all,” Mr Ratcliff told The Guardian.

“I’m more hopeful, with the announcement of him going. It feels to me that there are no guarantees but that it is possible that she would be home for Christmas. And that possibility is worth holding on to.”

The mother-of-one from London has been held by the regime since April 2016.

Mr Johnson said he would discuss a number of issues, including the war in Yemen. He will also reportedly settle a decades-long £400m dispute with the region that could help secure the British-Iranian mother’s freedom.

The Guardian said Mr Johnson has been working to overcome the issue of sanctions in order to finally release the funds, the amount of which has been largely settled, following a lengthy court case.

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