Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘silences’ PM over Iran case comments

'Nazanin deserved to hear directly from the prime minister about why it took so long to get her home'

Thursday, 19th May — By Richard Osley


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, her husband Richard, their daughter Gabriella and their MP Tulip Siddiq meet Boris Johnson

PRIME minister Boris Johnson was left “silenced” as a West Hampstead charity worker told him to his face that she may have spent longer in an Iran jail because of his inaccurate comments.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held for six years as campaigners – including her husband Richard – desperately called for more to be done to secure her release.

Prosecuted on vague charges of spying, which she always denied, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was finally released earlier this year after the UK agreed to pay a long-standing debt to Iran over a tank deal.

On Friday, she met Mr Johnson at Number 10 and told him his claim that she had been training journalists in Iran, made to a parliamentary committee during her imprisonment, was likely to have harmed her prospects of freedom.

She was actually on a family holiday with her daughter Gabriella.

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, who joined the meeting, said: “After six long years of unjust and unlawful imprisonment in Iran, Nazanin deserved to hear directly from the prime minister about why it took so long to get her home. Never again must the government allow British citizens to be taken hostage with so little done to secure their release and so few reprisals for those responsible.”

After the meeting, she said that Mr Johnson had been “stunned into silenced” by Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s reference to his comments, adding: “I’m not sure he knew what to say so he didn’t say anything.”

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