Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe could be free 'in days' following Boris Johnson visit

Posted On: 
21st December 2017

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe could be released from prison in Iran "within days", her husband has revealed.

Boris Johnston and Richard Ratcliffe at the Foreign Office
PA Images

Richard Ratcliffe said there had been a change in attitude from her captors since Boris Johnson got directly involved in the campaign to free her.

Lawyers for the British mother-of-one - who was arrested 18 months ago and accused of spying while on holiday with her daughter in Iran - have been told she is now "eligible for early release", he told Radio 5Live.

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But she was threatened with having five years added to her sentence after Mr Johnson wrongly told MPs she had been in the country training journalists.

The Foreign Secretary visited Iran earlier this month to plead with the government for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release.

Mr Zaghari-Ratcliffe said: "Yesterday her lawyer went to visit her in prison and was all excited, and said, yes, good news. 

"On the judiciary computer system, the database where all cases are recorded, she’s now been marked as eligible for early release. 

"Before, she’d been marked as a closed case, which meant that all her trials were finished. So that’s great news."

He added: "We’ve definitely had a change of the tide. If you think back even a couple of weeks ago, with all the kerfuffle that was going on, and then (Mr Johnson) went to Iran, and since then we’ve had that second case that got postponed, and then got cancelled. 

"We’ve had an improvement in her condition, so she’s been able to call me every day. She’s been allowed extra visits, and now suddenly the database is shifting and saying 'eligible for early release'. 

"She’s still in prison but that all feels very positive."

Asked when his wife could be released, Mr Zaghari-Ratcliffe said: "It might be sort of days to weeks, rather than tomorrow morning. But definitely it feels like the end is much closer in sight."