Iran returns British passport to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, raising hopes of release – POLITICO

LONDON – A British citizen of Iranian descent detained in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has had her British passport returned, raising hopes she may soon be released.

British MP Tulip Siddiq tweeted Tuesday that Zaghari-Ratcliffe “remains at her family home in Tehran” and that she understands that there is an English football team in the Iranian capital negotiating her release.

Hojjat Kermani, lawyer for Zaghari-Ratcliffe, told Reuters: “I hope that we will have good news soon.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project director of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 during a trip to Iran with her daughter Gabriella, and jailed for five years for conspiracy charges. against the regime. She was later sentenced to another year in solitary confinement on charges of propaganda.

Iranian authorities have asked the UK to pay a debt of £400 million in exchange for her release, along with other dual nationals Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to comment on the news, but told reporters “conversations are still going on.”

Asked if the issue of the £400m debt to Iran had been resolved, he said: “I think it’s very important that you’ve had quite delicate discussions going on, the negotiations are going on in Tehran on some of our most difficult consular cases – especially Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – you should say as little as possible unless and until the matter is really concluded. … I don’t want to do anything to interrupt the conversation right now. ”

The debt related to an order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks has been canceled since the 1970s. An official Johnson spokesman earlier said the UK was “committed to repaying the debt” and was “exploring options to resolved – it is still unresolved”.

This article has been updated. Iran returns British passport to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, raising hopes of release - POLITICO

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