Johnson visit to Iran will give ‘hope’

Nina Massey

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband has said news of Boris Johnson’s reported visit to Iran is likely to have given her hope.

According to reports the Foreign Secretary will visit Tehran this weekend, in a move that has been welcomed by Richard Ratcliffe.

He told Sky News: “Nazanin has a new court case on Sunday, so it is really, really great that he is able to be there, just to press how important it is that she could be home with her family.”

He added: “I think him being there can only make things better. It makes a clear statement that he is concerned about Nazanin, he is concerned about the other cases. I am sure the fact that the Foreign Secretary is going will have given her some hope and fingers crossed that maybe something will come.”

Mr Ratcliffe said that he had asked Mr Johnson to meet his wife, her family and the judiciary in Iran.

Priority

He explained that he was hoping to be able to travel with Mr Johnson but that his “top priority” was for the Foreign Secretary to get to Iran in time for Sunday’s court case.

Commenting on reports of the visit, Amnesty International UK’s director Kate Allen said: “We’re cautiously hopeful that this could be the light at the end of the tunnel for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“As we’ve been saying over and over, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a charity worker who’s been jailed for five years after enduring solitary confinement and a deeply unfair trial. The Iranian authorities have a record of toying with the fate of prisoners being held for ‘political’ reasons, so it’s still very hard to feel confident that her release is imminent.

“We fervently hope the Foreign Secretary’s visit can secure her speedy release, but if it doesn’t we’ll go on campaigning.

“This is a gross injustice and it must be set right.”

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