Zaghari-Ratcliffe talks moving forward, PM sayson March 16, 2022 at 7:29 am

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Boris Johnson says negotiations to free the British-Iranian woman are “going right up to the wire”.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Image source, Richard Ratcliffe

Talks with Iran to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe are “going right up to the wire”, Boris Johnson has said.

Negotiations are “moving forward”, he said, nearly six years after she was arrested while visiting family.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, which she denied.

Tulip Siddiq, her MP, said her family are feeling “more hopeful” that she could return to the UK.

Speaking during a visit to Abu Dhabi, Mr Johnson said negotiations for the release of dual nationals in Tehran had been going on “for a long time”.

He said he would not comment on Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case further “because those negotiations continue to be under way and we’re going right up to the wire”.

Ms Siddiq said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had her UK passport returned and is still in her family home in Tehran, where she has been under house arrest since 2020.

The MP for Hampstead and Kilburn told BBC Breakfast there was a British negotiating team in Iran, adding: “It’s difficult to think why they would be there if there wasn’t some leeway in what was happening, that there may be some progress made on the case.”

She said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, was “feeling hopeful”.

“I also was in touch with Nazanin as well, who definitely sounds a bit more stressed and a bit more nervous than Richard does,” she said.

“But at the same time is talking about coming home, being reunited with her husband and her daughter, being back at home in West Hampstead and saying that this is the day that she’s been dreaming about for six years now.”

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