Boris Johnson meets husband of British woman jailed in Iran

Boris Johnson meets husband of British woman jailed in Iran

As Boris Johnson held a face-to-face meeting with the British-Iranian woman's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, on Wednesday, the first such meeting since the she was jailed in April 2016, Iran signalled it would not countenance such a step because it does not recognise dual nationality.

Earlier this month, Johnson mistakenly told a British parliamentary committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran teaching journalists when she was detained.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. Mr Johnson apologised on Monday and admitted to MPs that he had made a mistake.

Richard would also like to use the meeting to accelerate plans for Mr Johnson to visit Iran after he announced that he would be willing to.

Richard Dalton, the UK's ambassador to Iran from 2003 to 2006, said on Tuesday that the foreign secretary's options are limited and he warned that resolution of the case was unlikely to be swift.

According to the Foreign Office, the meeting will cover Mr Ratcliffe's request that the Government considers extending "diplomatic protection" to his wife, who was arrested in April a year ago during a holiday in Iran with her young daughter.

"The prime minister has been involved with this case from the outset, she's raised it with the Iranian president on at least two occasions, the entire government is working towards securing her release as quickly as possible".

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Image: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, husband Richard Ratcliffe and their child.

The Foreign Secretary has sought advice from officials to determine whether conferring the status would help, including what impact it would have on the support now being provided and the representations already being made on Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's behalf.

Ratcliffe will meet Johnson and his consular specialists at the Foreign Office on Wednesday. Her family and employer have always maintained she was visiting family on vacation.

"The foreign secretary concluded the meeting by saying that no stone would be left unturned in the case of Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and that of our other dual nationals detained in Iran", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Though some have called for the foreign secretary to resign, Ratcliffe told the BBC this would not be in his wife's best interests. Her family insists she was on holiday. She went to hospital on Saturday for an ultrasound because she had found lumps in both her breasts.

"Nazanin is being held because she is British and is being used as a bargaining chip against the United Kingdom, now justified by your words", he said in an article in the Evening Standard newspaper.

"Nazanin is no longer simply a consular case as she has been endangered in a deeper way".

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