Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe handed over to UK and ‘on way home’ today – latest news



Talks with Iran to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘going up to the wire’, says Boris Johnson

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has reportedly been handed over to a British team at an airport in Tehran and will leave Iran today.

The British-Iranian mother and fellow detainee Anousheh Ashoori both traveled to Imam Khomeini International Airport in the Iranian capital this morning, according to their lawyer.

Iranian state media later reported Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been handed over to the UK at the airport, after Tulip Siddiq, her local MP in London, confirmed she had arrived at the airport and was “on her way home”.

It comes almost six years after Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first detained in the country, and five years since Mr Ashouri’s arrest.

Iran sentenced Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe – a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuters news agency – to five years in prison in September 2016 after accusing her of “plotting to topple the Iranian regime”, a charge she has always denied.

Her order began after she visited the country in mid-March 2016 to spend time with family members for Nowruz (New Year), only to be detained on her way home at Imam Khomeini Airport on 3 April.

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Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was picked up and taken to airport with parents, says sister-in-law

Rebecca Ratcliffe, the sister of Richard Ratcliffe, has said it feels like they are on the “home run” following the news Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been taken to an airport in Tehran.

She told the BBC: “It is quite an emotional day today. It feels like we are on the home run now but until she leaves that airport we can’t quite believe it.

“We found out about an hour ago that Nazanin had been picked up and taken to the airport with her parents. She is still actually under Iranian control at the airport.

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 11:21

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British-Iranian aid worker handed over to British team at Tehran airport, according to Iranian state media

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been handed over to a British team at Tehran’s International Imam Khomeini Airport and is leaving Iran today, Iranian state media has reported.

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 11:05

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s daughter ‘very excited’ about her returning to UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s young daughter Gabriella is said to be “very excited” about her mother finally returning home to the UK.

Penny Madden, Richard Ratcliffe’s lawyer, told Sky News she last spoke to Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband earlier this morning.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Madden said: “He is excited, but that is tinged with anxiety. He doesn’t have any visibility into what is happening at the moment.

“Gabriella’s very excited but I think it’s important for everybody to keep it very measured. That excitement has got to be tempered with some expectation.”

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 11:03

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What was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe accused of in Iran?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is now at an airport in Tehran waiting to go home – a day she has undoubtedly been dreaming of for almost six years.

Her order began after she visited Iran in mid-March 2016 to spend time with family members for Nowruz (New Year), only to be detained on her way home at Imam Khomeini Airport on 3 April.

Here, my colleague Joe Somerland explains why exactly the British-Iranian mother was imprisoned and what she was accused of:

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 10:43

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘angry at her life being stolen’

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe last month told of how the mother was filled with “anger at her life being stolen”.

He said his wife was afraid she was a “bargaining chip” in ongoing nuclear talks and angry at the government’s “lack of urgency” in returning her to the UK.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain have the full story:

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe now at airport in Tehran, says Tulip Siddiq

MP Tulip Siddiq has said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is now at an airport in Tehran and “on her way home”.

The Labor MP for Hampstead and Kilburn tweeted a few moments ago: “Nazanin is at the airport in Tehran and on her way home.

“I came into politics to make a difference, and right now I’m feeling like I have.

“More details to follow.”

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 10:18

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe heading to Tehran airport to leave country

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is heading to an airport to leave Iran with another detained Briton, Anousheh Ashouri, according to their lawyer.

Follow our breaking news story for more updates:

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 10:15

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British team in Tehran working to release British-Iranian nationals, says foreign secretary

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said there is a British team in Tehran working to release British-Iranian dual nationals in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Truss said: “We have been having discussions.

“I met my counterpart, the Iranian foreign minister, back in September – we’ve been in regular touch since.

“We do have a team in Tehran, but I absolutely can’t say anything else at this stage.”

Ms Truss said the UK was working “very hard” to “secure the release of Nazanin”, and other dual-nationals.

The cabinet minister said it was also a “priority to pay the debt that we owe to Iran” – a reference to the £400 million outstanding in relation to a canceled order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks dating back to the 1970s – but stressed she could not say anymore.

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 10:05

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‘Scare tactics’ used during questioning in Iran, MP claims

Tulip Siddiq said there had been some “scare tactics” when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was questioned in Iran at the weekend.

She said Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “astonished” to get her passport back.

Ms Siddiq added: “She’s currently on her travel ban but the fact that they’ve given her British passport back means that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 09:50

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UK-Iran talks could ‘just be a stunt from Iranians’, says sister-in-law

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sister-in-law Rebecca Ratcliffe said the family are trying not to raise their hopes too much, having had disappointments in the past.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We know that there’s a delegation, a UK delegation, gone over there to talk to Iranian officials and hopefully negotiate so it seems like a very positive step in Nazanin’s case, and hopefully coming close to an end but we just don’t know how far it’s gone.”

She said the case could come to close very quickly or could be “a stunt” on Iran’s part.

She said: “This may all be over in a week or two. But also it may just be a stunt from the Iranians. We’ve had this before. You know, we’ve had many ups over the last six years and been told she’s been about to be released. So there’s an element of false hopes and I think our family, Nazanin, her parents, find it hard to get too excited at the moment.”

She said developments in the case, whether good or bad “drive (Nazanin) into a state of high anxiety, adding: “So since Sunday, neither Nazanin nor her parents can settle. I think there’s a lot of twitching going on in that flat, a sort of high tension and just waiting to see what happens.”

Chiara Giordano16 March 2022 09:35


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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