Home United Kingdom Nazanin Zanghari-Ratcliffe faces fresh charges in Iranian court, family says

Nazanin Zanghari-Ratcliffe faces fresh charges in Iranian court, family says


Detained British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe could appear in an Iranian court to face fresh charges, her family says.

The 40-year-old charity worker has been told by prosecutors further charges against her could be resurrected by authorities as early as next week, according to her husband, Richard Ratcliffe.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held at Evin Prison in Tehran following her arrest in April 2016 as she attempted to return home from a holiday with her 21-month-old daughter Gabriella.

The Iranian government has never disclosed the exact nature of the crimes it alleges Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has committed, although it insists she has been detained on legitimate grounds.

The latest development in the case appears to contradict statements Tehran made to the United Nations in March, insisting she would not face further charges.

Todays news did surprise me, and then it didnt, Mr Ratcliffe said.

The judge is right that Nazanins case is a truly made up case. There isnt anything in her file we remain stuck as a bargaining chip.

Iran has exploited a gaffe by Boris Johnson, who falsely claimed Mz Zaghari-Ratcliffe was teaching journalism, using it to defend the decision to hand her a five-year jail term.

The blunder led the foreign secretary to announce he would leave no stone unturned in his attempts to facilitate her release.

Mr Johnson and European counterparts are expected to meet Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels later on Tuesday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), following Donald Trumps decision to withdraw the US from the agreement.

Mr Ratcliffe believes there is connection between the meeting and the decision by authorities in Iranto reopen further investigations against his wife.

I have no clue why they have started all this nonsense again. They know Boris is coming, he saidMs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had told him in a phone call early on Monday morning.

Please take me out of this, please. My parents have had enough. I want my daughter back. She needs both of us. So tell the world. Enough of this nonsense.

Mr Ratcliffe called on Mr Johnson to put the plight of British citizens detainedin Iran at the top of his priority list during the talks.

The foreign secretary promised to leave no stone unturned in his efforts to solve this issue, he added.

Yet from leaving no stone unturned, we are again in the midst of a new phase of stone collecting.

The UK needs to do better by British Iranians at the moment it is failing to protect them. UK policy is not making it safe for British citizens. Iranian policy is not making it safe for Iranian citizens.

He should not just do his utmost to protect British commercial interests. He should also commit to protecting British citizens.

We hope the foreign secretary visits Iran as soon as possible, for the safety of all British citizens. We hope this time a way can be found for him not to return again empty handed.



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