Iran-British citizens end five-year sentence in spy case

Tehran – A British and Iranian woman, who had been detained in an Iranian prison for five years on suspicion of being widely refuted as a spy, faced a new trial and, although still unable to return home, finished her sentence on Sunday, lawyers said.

According to lawyers, Nazanin Zagari Ratcliffe was able to remove his ankle bracelet for the first time since he was released from prison on a temporary dismissal last March due to a surge in coronavirus pandemics. Since then, she has been under house arrest at her parents’ home in the capital of Tehran.

Iran’s state media said on Sunday that it was re-summoned to court on March 13 on new vague charges, including the “propaganda spread” first announced last fall.

Her long-term proceedings against the backdrop of a decades-old debt dispute between Britain and Iran have strained diplomatic relations between the two countries and caused international anger.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab welcomed the removal of Zagari Ratcliff’s ankle tag on Sunday, but asked her to allow her to return.


“She’s continued treatment of Iran is intolerable,” he said on Twitter. “She must be allowed to return to the UK as soon as possible to reunite with her family.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of attempting to overthrow the Iranian government. She was detained at the airport with her toddler daughter after visiting her family on vacation in the capital of Tehran in 2016. At that time, she worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a news agency charity.

The latest setback in the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case is the result of Britain and Iran negotiating a dispute over London’s debt of approximately £ 400 million ($ 530 million) to Iran. It was delivered. The Shah abandoned the throne in 1979, and the Islamic Revolution set up a system of priestly supervision that continues today.


Richard Ratcliffe, who has been campaigning aloud for years to release his wife, said Iran holds Zagari Ratcliffe as “collateral” for the conflict. Officials in London and Tehran have denied that the Zagari Ratcliff case was related to a repayment transaction. However, the prisoner exchange, which released four American citizens in 2016, saw the United States pay the same amount as Iran on the same day of their release.

REDRESS, who has been advocating on behalf of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband, criticized the date of the new proceedings as “not evidenced” and lamented the date of the new court.

“Despite ending his sentence, Nazanin is now under threat of further accusations and is years away from her husband and daughter,” said group director Rupert Skillbeck.

Iran has frequently arrested dual citizens in recent years, often using their cases as a trump card for monetary negotiations or as an influence in negotiations with the West, as the United Nations criticizes them as a “new pattern.” doing.


Several other dual citizens, including at least one other British citizen and three Americans, remain in prison. Detainees such as Zagari Ratcliffe cannot receive consular support because Iran refuses to allow dual citizenship.

British MP Tulip Siddiq, who represents Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s London district and is in contact with her family, has confirmed a new court day. Meanwhile, she said that Zagari Ratcliff’s first trip after house arrest would meet her grandmother.


Associated Press writer Kelvin Chan contributed from London. DeBre was reported by Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Iran-British citizens end five-year sentence in spy case

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