Nazanin's UK passport returned to her - MP
Tuesday 15 March 2022
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (photo) has been given her UK passport back, her MP has said, raising hopes she may be freed from nearly six years' detention in Iran.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation executive was arrested at Tehran airport in 2016 while taking her infant daughter Gabriella to see her Iranian family. She was accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
Tulip Siddiq MP said Zaghari-Ratcliffe was still at her family home in Tehran. She said British negotiators were also in the city.
According to the Foundation, her lawyer Hojjat Kermani, when asked whether she would be released, said: "I am hopeful that we will have good news soon.”
A £400 million debt relating to a cancelled order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks dating back to the 1970s has been linked to her continued detention and that of other UK-Iranian dual nationals held in the country - although the government has said the two issues should not be linked.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe has always denied the charges against her. She was first jailed for five years in 2016 after being accused of plotting against the regime. She was sentenced to another year's confinement in April 2021 on charges of "spreading propaganda".
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK's chief executive, warned the latest reports should be treated with caution as there had been "false dawn after false dawn" in the long-running process. He said: "We sincerely hope these reports are correct.
"The detainees and their families have been suffering for years, and a resolution can't come quickly enough.” ■