Jailed Iranian ‘spy’ could be given diplomatic protection by Britain

Charity worker accused of being a spy in Iran could be handed diplomatic protection by Britain to help free her from five year prison sentence

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 
  • The mother, accused of spying, insists she was introducing her child to family 
  • Her husband says she is ‘reaching the end of her patience’ as efforts hit wall

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is considering granting diplomatic protection to free a British charity worker jailed in Iran.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016, accused of spying.

 She denies the allegations, insisting she was on holiday visiting family with her baby daughter.

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British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran for allegedly plotting to topple the Iranian government

  • Boris Johnson’s resignation delays decision on diplomatic…

    Candle-lit vigil is held for British mother jailed in Iran…

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Mr Hunt said he had been going over the case in ‘enormous detail’ and considering her husband Richard Ratcliffe’s request to grant her diplomatic protection – a mechanism under international law where a state can help one of its nationals whose rights have been breached in another country.

 Mr Hunt said he had not ‘come to a final decision’.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, is facing a further hearing over an unspecified security charge.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe insists she was visiting Iran to introduce her daughter (right) to family 

A candle-lit vigil was held for the British mother who on her 800th day in jail – as her supporters claim she is being used as a ‘political pawn’.  

The vigil was held outside the Foreign Office in London, where friends and family members lit the candles for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on her daughter Gabriella’s fourth birthday.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard, from West Hampstead, London, said: ‘Part of the reason we’re here in front of the Foreign Office is just to say “listen, this is still going on. Please find a way to solve this.”‘

He said they have been seeking diplomatic protection for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

He added: ‘There are clearly things going on between UK and Iran’s relationship. That means that we are a political bargaining chip – partly because we’re so high-profile.’

Her husband said yesterday that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was reaching the ‘end of her patience’ in the absence of any diplomatic progress to get her home to the UK.

Richard Ratcliffe holds a family photo on the second anniversary of his wife’s detention




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