Introduction — March 10, 2018
Richard Ratcliffe has demanded to know ‘what’s blocking’ his wife’s return home, after the head of the prison where she is being held says her release has already been approved. Weeks ago it was revealed that a dispute over the interest rate used to calculate the present value of historic debt was delaying her release.
We’ve heard nothing further since but given that the Iranian authorities have approved her release, it’s reasonable to ask whether it hasn’t been delayed by Britain’s refusal to come to terms over the exact amount of historic debt? Is this why we’ve heard so little about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in recent months?
After all had the Iranian authorities been delaying her release we would have heard all about it from the corporate media. However, they’ve been very quiet on the matter, which suggests Britain itself may be responsible for delaying her release rather than Iran. Ed.
Husband of British mother locked up in Tehran reveals Iranian head of prison agreed to release his wife ‘months ago’ – as he demands Boris Johnson explain ‘what’s blocking her return home’
Danyal Hussein — Daily Mail March 10, 2018
The husband of locked-up British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said that Iranian authorities approved her release ‘months ago’.
Richard Ratcliffe has said that the head of the prison in Tehran informed him this week that he had already approved her release.
Mr Ratcliffe now wants to know why his wife’s return to the UK from jail is being delayed and has asked for an urgent update from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Mr Ratcliffe said it was not clear what was delaying a return to the UK for his wife, a British-Iranian dual citizen serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of spying charges in 2016.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Ratcliffe said: ‘We’ve been getting better messages from the Iranian side, from the judiciary and the prosecutor’s office in Iran.
‘This week the head of prison said, ”Oh yes, I’ve approved her release, I approved it a number of months ago”. So there’s been clearly things to hold on to, hopefully.
‘Part of the aspiration of today’s message to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is I would like to meet to ask what’s the blockage? What’s going on?’
He says that while there had been positive signs from Iranian authorities, the family still did not know when they would be reunited with her.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, denies the spy charges and maintains that she was in Iran to introduce her young daughter Gabriella to her parents.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We will continue to approach each case in a way that we judge is most likely to secure the outcome we all want.
‘Therefore we will not be providing a running commentary on every twist and turn.’
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lobbied for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s early release on humanitarian grounds during a trip to Tehran in December.
The Foreign Secretary was previously criticised for potentially doubling her sentence on fresh spying charges after wrongly saying that she’d been training journalists in Iran.
Mr Johnson said at the time: ‘I think the best thing I can say is that the truth is we are continuing to work very hard with all the consular cases, particularly the very difficult ones we have in Iran.
‘I just don’t want to get into a running commentary. There are very good reasons for not saying anything.’