The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian mother jailed in Iran, has called for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Richard Ratcliffe said the UK government needed a clear strategy to protect his wife and other Brits jailed in Iran.
“This is not a case where you can stand on the sidelines and wait quietly, he said
“I think there needs to be real, clear priorities [from the UK government]”.
Concerns about the safety of Nazanin have been raised, following Donald Trump’s decision to launch a drone strike on Friday against Qasem Soleimani – an Iranian military general.
It’s thought that Iran might become even less willing to negotiate the release of Western citizens jailed in the country, in response to the attack.
Richard Ratcliffe said that, after the general election, the PM had agreed to meet with him at an “appropriate time”.
“I think now is an appropriate time,” Ratcliffe told Radio 4.
In 2017, an Irani court summoned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to face evidence that she was engaging in “propaganda against the regime” after Boris Johnson told a select committee that she was in Iran “ teaching people journalism”. Her husband and her employer, Thomas Reuters Foundation, maintain that she was on holiday.
Many have blamed Boris Johnson for her continued imprisonment, with Mr Ratcliffe saying at the time: “There is a direct link between Boris Johnson’s comments on Wednesday and Judge Salavati, the harshest judge that you can find hearing her case on Saturday, where she is now facing a double sentence.”
Boris Johnson bares at least some responsibility for Nazanin’s imprisonment. He should take it upon himself to fight for her release.