Fresh pressure on Boris Johnson as Iran TV brands his comments 'proof' against jailed mother

Posted On: 
9th November 2017

Boris Johnson came under fresh pressure last night after Iranian state TV said comments he made were “proof” that a British mother in a Tehran jail was acting against the nation.

It comes as the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe urged Boris Johnson to take him to visit his wife
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary sparked fury last week when he said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "simply teaching people journalism" when she was detained in the country 18 months ago.

The Iranian authorities have told Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who was on holiday at the time of the arrest - that the comment could see her current five-year jail term doubled.

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Mr Johnson has withdrawn the remark but refused to apologise. He suggested Tehran had misinterpreted what he said.

But a state TV segment with the title “confess” has branded his words the “unintended confession of the UK government about the real plot” behind her trip, according to a BBC journalist.

The segment did acknowledge that Mr Johnson had retracted the remark but still said his comments were “proof” of the accusations against Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said the situation for her Hampstead and Kilburn constituent was “life and death” and urged Theresa May to intervene.

Her Labour colleague Stella Creasy said the TV clip was “sickening” and called on Mr Johnson to quit in the wake of the scandal.

It comes as Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard asked the Foreign Secretary to take him to Iran so he can visit his wife and three-year-old daughter Gabriella for the first time 18 months.

He told the Sun: “I will ask Boris if I can come with him when he visits Tehran, and travel under his protection.

“Not seeing Nazanin and my daughter in all this time has been really tough. The Iranians have kept stalling.”

Speaking in Washington yesterday, Mr Johnson said he was willing to meet with Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family.