Home Uncategorized UK lawmaker: Nazanin Zagari-Ratcliffe will fly home from Iran

UK lawmaker: Nazanin Zagari-Ratcliffe will fly home from Iran

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UK lawmaker: Nazanin Zagari-Ratcliffe will fly home from Iran


LONDON – Nazanine Zagari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian charity worker whose arrest and detention in Tehran since 2016 has strained relations between Britain and Iran, has been released and will fly back to Britain, a British lawmaker said on Wednesday.

“Nazanin is at the Tehran airport and is going home,” the deputy said. Tulip Siddik, on Twitter.

The detention of Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe and other British citizens in Iran led to the detention debate in Britain on the country’s responsibilities to citizens facing problems abroad, amid accusations by their families that they were used as diplomatic chips in the dispute between Britain and Iran, including over a failed arms deal in 1976.

The last step was also taken as American and European negotiators went to the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions from the country.

Ms. Siddiq, representing the London area where Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe’s family lives and has been actively involved in advocating for her case, said on Tuesday that the benefactress had returned her passport from the Iranian authorities, a small size. a step towards leaving Iran.

The release of Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe, Thomson Reuters Foundation project manager, came after a long campaign of apparent breakthroughs and sudden obstacles to her release. She was detained at Tehran airport in 2016 on her way to Britain after visiting family members in Iran.

Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government and sentenced to five years in prison, and was later placed under house arrest at her family’s home in Tehran in 2020 during a coronavirus epidemic.

Freedom appeared close last year after the verdict came to an end and she was allowed to stop wearing the tag on her ankles, but instead she was detained on new charges of “advocacy”, banned from leaving and sentenced to another year in prison.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, denied all charges against her, accusing the Iranian government of using her as a diplomatic pawn.

“It has long been clear that the Iranian authorities have targeted foreign nationals with false accusations of national security to exert diplomatic pressure,” said Sasha Deshmukh, executive director of Amnesty International UK, following news that Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe had been returned. passport.

Mr Ratcliffe said Iranian officials had in the past told Ms Zagari-Ratcliffe that she would be released as soon as Britain repaid a £ 400m debt, or about $ 522m, to Iran in connection with the 1976 arms deal. Western countries, including the United States, have accused Iran of using its citizens as leverage.

Megan Spice made reports from Warsaw.

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