Boris Johnson to meet Iranian President in Tehran

Posted On: 
10th December 2017

Boris Johnson is today due to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on his second day visiting the country.

Boris Johnson's trip is the third by a British foreign minister to the country in 14 years
Credit: 
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary is in the country trying to broker a deal which would see British-Iranian Nazanin Zagari-Ratcliffe released from jail.

Mr Johnson held "frank" talks within his Iranian counterpart for two hours yesterday – including pushing for the mother of two and other dual nationals’ release on humanitarian grounds.

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The BBC reported British delegates are "encouraged" by his visit with Mr Rouhani, given such a meeting is “not automatic”.

However the broadcaster added that the president's powers were limited as he is not Iran's supreme leader.

Ms Zagari-Ratcliffe has been held by the regime since April 2016 after she was accused of spying.

Mr Johnson’s visit comes as she could face prosecutors for “spreading propaganda” – a charge which could result in a hefty sentence.

Pressure to secure her release has been heaped on the Foreign Secretary after a major gaffe, where he wrongly claimed she had been in the country “teaching journalists”.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard, said he was relieved to hear initial talks described as “constructive”, and hoped his family might be reunited for Christmas.

“I am obviously watching closely with hope, fingers crossed and excitement – I couldn’t sleep at all last night,” he told the Press Association.