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Daughter of Briton jailed in Iran says Father’s Day is ‘the hardest day of all’ – World News

Ahead of Father’s Day, Ms Tahbaz expressed concern at an alleged failure to maintain an open dialogue with her about moves to get her father released

Roxanne Tahbaz holds a photo of her father Morad Tahbaz outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London April 13, 2022
Roxanne Tahbaz holds a photo of her father Morad Tahbaz outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London April 13, 2022

The daughter of a Brit who remains jailed in Iran said Father’s Day was “the hardest day of all” as she accused ministers of snubbing her about his case.

Morad Tahbaz, 66, was re-arrested after being released on leave on the day Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, a compatriot with dual nationality, were released in March.

His daughter, Roxanne Tahbaz, delivered a Father’s Day card and gift to the Foreign Office on Thursday, hoping to meet with ministers and keep abreast of his situation.

But when she arrived, she was dismayed that her concerns were reportedly relayed to a consular section official, who said they would pass the message on instead.

“It was incredibly disheartening,” said Ms. Tahbaz.

Ahead of the holidays on Sunday, Ms Tahbaz expressed concern at an alleged failure to engage in dialogue with her about actions being taken to secure his release.

“Father’s Day is the hardest day of all,” she said.

“While every day is challenging, special moments like holidays and birthdays are especially difficult for me and my siblings.

“Our father has been unjustly imprisoned in Iran for nearly four and a half years, but Liz Truss and the government have still not informed us of what they are doing to secure his release.”

Ms Tahbaz rebuked what she saw as constant attempts to “appease” her and her siblings with “joy and false promises”, drawing parallels between her situation and the treatment of Richard Ratcliffe and Mr Ashoori’s family before both returned home.

“There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency – nothing to indicate that the Secretary of State and her office feel they need to get my father out of prison immediately,” she said.

“On Thursday, Amnesty accompanied me when I brought a Father’s Day card and gift to the Foreign Office.

“To our dismay neither the Foreign Secretary nor any minister wanted to meet us, instead we were greeted by another member of their team who said they would pass our concerns on.

“It feels like the government is constantly trying to placate us with pleasantries and false promises, like they did with Richard Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori’s family.

“What we have asked for is very simple, the government must uphold the agreement that should have taken place at the time of the release of Nazanin and Anoosheh and insist on the immediate release of our father and return home with our mother.”

The Foreign Office is understood to have been in contact with Mr Tahbaz’s sister-in-law, the contact point chosen by the family, and an ambassador is in contact with his wife in Tehran.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Iran has failed to honor its commitment to release Morad from prison indefinitely.

“The continuation of his appalling ordeal sends a clear message to the international community that Iran is not living up to its commitments.

“We continue to call on the Iranian authorities to release him immediately at every opportunity.”

In March, the UK said it had secured Mr Tahbaz’s leave and the release and return of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Mr Ashoori.






Richard Ratcliffe Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter Gabriella

This comes after the British government finally agreed to pay a £400 million debt to Iran dating back to the Shah’s rule in the 1970s.

But two days later, Mr Tahbaz was forced to return to Evin prison.

Mr Tahbaz, a prominent conservationist and board member of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was arrested in January 2018 during a crackdown on environmental activists.

He was sentenced along with his colleagues to 10 years in prison on vague charges of spying for the US and undermining Iran’s security.

Ms Tahbaz has been campaigning for her father’s release for months, and in April she staged a demonstration outside the Foreign Office calling on the government to “keep on the promise it made to us”.

She told the PA news agency at the time: “We want them to keep the promise they made to us, we’ve always been led into believing for the last 4+ years that he would be part of any deal they made had to do and we were led to believe he was coming home as part of it.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/daughter-brit-jailed-iran-says-27267120 Daughter of Briton jailed in Iran says Father's Day is 'the hardest day of all' - World News

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