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Boris Johnson ‘must intervene to secure release of Nazanin in Iran’

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Writing in the Standard ahead of a parliamentary debate this afternoon, Mr Khan and Ms Siddiq said: “Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike must not be for nothing. It must be a wakeup call for those who believed that a wait-and-see approach was the best strategy to secure Nazanin’s release.

“We believe that this innocent woman has suffered enough. Though responsibility for Nazanin’s predicament lies with Iran, there is more that the UK Government could be doing to help her, and we are making a personal plea to the Prime Minister to take stronger action to try to bring her home.”

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, has been detained in Iran since 2016. She is currently under house arrest after being released from prison, but is awaiting the start of a second jail term.

Mr Ratcliffe and their seven-year-old daughter Gabriella live in West Hampstead.

Last night it was reported that Ms Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, had been warned by parliamentary clerks not to mention the UK Government’s £400m debt to Iran for fear of prejudicing a forthcoming High Court case.

This was despite the debt – over an order for tanks that Britain failed to provide to pre-revolutionary Iran – being repeatedly mentioned in a House of Lords debate yesterday. The debt is thought to be central to Iran’s refusal to release Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Government minister Lord Goldsmith, the former Tory mayoral candidate, said that Iran was subjecting Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe to an “inhumane ordeal” but told the Lords: “Were the Government to pay hundreds of millions of pounds to the Iranian Government, that would undoubtedly be seen as payment for a hostage situation.”



Writing in the Standard ahead of a parliamentary debate this afternoon, Mr Khan and Ms Siddiq said: “Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike must not be for nothing. It must be a wakeup call for those who believed that a wait-and-see approach was the best strategy to secure Nazanin’s release.

“We believe that this innocent woman has suffered enough. Though responsibility for Nazanin’s predicament lies with Iran, there is more that the UK Government could be doing to help her, and we are making a personal plea to the Prime Minister to take stronger action to try to bring her home.”

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, has been detained in Iran since 2016. She is currently under house arrest after being released from prison, but is awaiting the start of a second jail term.

Mr Ratcliffe and their seven-year-old daughter Gabriella live in West Hampstead.

Last night it was reported that Ms Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, had been warned by parliamentary clerks not to mention the UK Government’s £400m debt to Iran for fear of prejudicing a forthcoming High Court case.

This was despite the debt – over an order for tanks that Britain failed to provide to pre-revolutionary Iran – being repeatedly mentioned in a House of Lords debate yesterday. The debt is thought to be central to Iran’s refusal to release Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Government minister Lord Goldsmith, the former Tory mayoral candidate, said that Iran was subjecting Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe to an “inhumane ordeal” but told the Lords: “Were the Government to pay hundreds of millions of pounds to the Iranian Government, that would undoubtedly be seen as payment for a hostage situation.”

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