Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has British passport returned as UK negotiating team make progress in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

There is a British negotiating team in Tehran where she is being detained

Published Last updated

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had her British passport returned, her MP Tulip Siddiq has said, adding that she understands there is a British negotiating team in Tehran where she is being detained.

The Hampstead and Kilburn MP tweeted: “I am very pleased to say that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been given her British passport back.

“She is still at her family home in Tehran. I also understand that there is a British negotiating team in Tehran right now.

“I will keep posting updates as I get them.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella
Tulip Siddiq announced the news on Twitter
Tulip Siddiq announced the news on Twitter

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 when visiting family in Iran with her daughter Gabriella.

She was jailed for five years on charges of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

According to her family, she was told by authorities that she was being detained because of the UK's failure to pay their outstanding debt of £400m to Iran.

This debt is related to the UK cancelling their order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks in the 1970s.

The 43-year-old from West Hampstead in London, was briefly released in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but was then further sentenced to another year’s confinement last April after being accused of “spreading propaganda.”

In total, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spent four years in Tehran’s Evin Prison and one year on house-arrest.

The family and the Reuters foundation, a charity that operates independently of Thomson Reuters, had denied the charges against her.

Her husband and daughter, Gabriella, have long been campaigning for her release and international rights groups have been condemning her treatment.

In November 2021, her husband camped outside the Foreign Office in London on a three-week hunger strike.

In December, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the £400million that Britain owes Iran is a “legitimate debt” that the Government wants to pay.