Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has advised Boris Johnson that for 4 years she lived within the shadow of his mistaken assertion as international secretary that she had been in Iran to coach journalists.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, launched by Iran simply over a month in the past, advised Johnson in a face-to-face assembly in Downing Street that his remarks had had a big effect on her life, in accordance with Tulip Siddiq, her MP and shut ally.
Speaking exterior Downing Street after the assembly, Siddiq stated Johnson seemed visibly shocked, and he or she stated she was pleased with Zaghari-Ratcliffe for being so blunt.
In 2017, giving proof to the international affairs choose committee, Johnson stated Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in Tehran to coach journalists, when she had travelled to Iran to see her mother and father together with her baby, Gabriella. Johnson’s remarks, which he later clarified, have been seized upon by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, however weren’t cited after they took a second case towards her final 12 months after she had served her preliminary five-year sentence.
Siddiq stated: “Nazanin was sitting next to the prime minister and told him very clearly and categorically that his words had a big impact on her and that she lived in the shadow of his words for the best part of four and a half years, and I have to say the prime minister looked quite shocked I think when she said that.
“I was really proud she said that to him because she wanted to make it clear she is happy now, is grateful and appreciates the fact that she is home now, but there was a time when those words had a big impact.”
According to Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, Johnson supplied no apology for his private dealing with of the case or any view that the Foreign Office might have completed extra to safe earlier launch.
She was held in Iran for six years and launched solely after the UK authorities lastly paid an acknowledged £400m debt to Iran, a debt that the UK had beforehand both contested or stated couldn’t be paid as a result of sanctions. Ministers had all the time denied there was a hyperlink between the debt and her detention.
In the top the debt was paid to Iran through a financial institution in Oman on the strict situation that the cash is used just for humanitarian functions. It is just not clear how that settlement is policed.
Ratcliffe careworn it was not an “abrasive meeting” and stated it was “undeniable” that Johnson was sorry for the impression his mistake had had, having publicly stated he was sorry “if I inadvertently caused any further anguish”.
Ratcliffe stated classes wanted to be realized from the errors by the UK authorities in dealing with the case, a difficulty that’s anticipated to be picked up when the international affairs choose committee begins an inquiry into Iranian state hostage-taking.
The former international secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Middle East minister Alistair Burt, each advocates of paying the debt, are as a result of give proof. Zaghari-Ratcliffe steered the prime minister might additionally give proof, one thing he stated he would contemplate.
The delegation to Downing Street made a degree of elevating the case of Morad Tahbaz, a British Iranian American trinational who has been left in Tehran, and never placed on a type of parole as beforehand anticipated.
Ratcliffe stated: “I am lighter and fatter and happier and life is picking up, but there are others left in harm’s way. There are two new French people picked up this week and a Swedish guy on death row. When they are threatening to execute someone, that is a real red line and a warning signal. If they are willing to kill one person, no one is safe.”
No 10 stated: “I think it is important to remember that it was the Iranian government who were responsible for her unfair detention, and the decision to release her was always in their gift. However, I would point back to the prime minister’s words, his answers to questions on this before, and he has previously apologised for his comments in 2017.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, nonetheless recovering from her ordeal, opted to say nothing after the assembly, however stood alongside her daughter.