Dominic Raab Condemns “Cruel And Intolerable” Treatment Of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe And Calls for Iran To Allow Return To UK
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's ankle tag has been removed after her jail sentence ended today but she reportedly faces a new court summons in Iran next week (Alamy)
Iran must allow Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to return to the UK as soon as possible after her jail sentence ended today, Dominic Raab has said.
The foreign secretary said Tehran is putting her “through a cruel and an intolerable ordeal” after removing her ankle tag but summoning her to court again next week.
The British-Iranian dual national has been held since 2016, when she was sentenced to five years for unspecified "national security-related" offences, which she has always strongly denied.
She was released from prison last spring due to the coronavirus crisis, but has been under house arrest until her jail term was due to end today.
In a statement from the foreign office Raab said: "She must be released permanently so she can return to her family in the UK. We will continue to do all we can to achieve this.
"We have relayed to the Iranian authorities in the strongest possible terms that her continued confinement is unacceptable."
He said officials would do "all we can" to reunite the 43-year-old mother of two with her family in London.
"We welcome the removal of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's ankle tag, but Iran continues to put her and her family through a cruel and an intolerable ordeal,” the Cabinet minister added.
It comes after Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency where Nazanin's family live, gave an update on her situation this morning.
She tweeted: "I have been in touch with Nazanin's family. Some news: 1) Thankfully her ankle tag has been removed. Her first trip will be to see her grandmother.
"2) Less positive - she has been summoned once again to court next Sunday."
Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted about the news: “Beyond cruel to toy with an innocent mother and six year old child in this way.”
In a direct plea to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif he added: “She has served five years: let her come home.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe's sister-in-law Rebecca Ratcliffe told Sky News said she and Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin's husband, had a video call with her on Sunday morning and she was "lit up with joy about having the ankle tag taken off".
"It was lovely seeing her face this morning. She's very relieved to be able to leave the flat finally," she said.
"But there's still this threat of the second court case hanging over her, so we wait to see what's going to happen.
"We don't really know how to interpret what's going to happen later this week."
Ratcliffe added: "Until we know that the second court case has been quashed and she's on that plane back home, we can't celebrate."