Search

Foreign office minister visits Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s daughter during Iran trip

PUBLISHED: 08:17 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:25 10 August 2017

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt meets Nazanin's daughter Gabriella and family. Picture: Richard Ratcliffe

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt meets Nazanin's daughter Gabriella and family. Picture: Richard Ratcliffe

Archant

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has welcomed his jailed wife’s case being raised with Iran by a UK government minister.

Nazanin with her daughter Gabriella. Nazanin with her daughter Gabriella.

Richard Ratcliffe’s wife was sentenced to five years in jail in Tehran on secret charges while their daughter, three-year-old Gabriella, remains in the country with her grandparents.

On a visit to the Islamic republic at the weekend foreign office minister Alistair Burt met with his Iranian couterpart to raise Nazanin’s case before going on to meet Gabriella.

Speaking to the Ham&High, Mr Ratcliffe said: “I think they talked in human terms about a young child separated from her mother.

“It feels positive the Iranians are clearly acknowledging they have got her. My reading of this is they are manouevring towards finding a solution. But there was no offer of release,” he added.

Following the meeting Mr Burt met with Nazanin’s family and presented Gabriella with a Paddington bear cuddly toy.

“The minister was personally standing by Nazanin. It was a good thing he went. But still the government hasn’t called for Nazanin’s release. Seeing the family sends a clear signal. How the Iranian government will respond is not clear,” he said.

One of the demands the family has is for the British ambassador to be allowed to visit but in a telephone conversation on Monday the minister told Mr Ratcliffe he believed his weekend visit was not the right time to ask.

But Nazanin’s husband understands Mr Burt’s visit to the family has led to the profile of his wife’s case being raised in the Iranian media.

“It’s quite a shocking story in Iran because of the fact that Gabriella is so young. There were varying levels of sympathy in the reports,” he said.

Mr Ratcliffe also said he had learnt the authorities – who had moved Nazanin back into a high security cell during the visit – had told her to expect a visit from her husband at the time of the minister’s visit.

After waiting and waiting for her husband to arrive Nazanin called Mr Ratcliffe in order to ask where he was.

“She described the strangeness of having this promise made and then having it reversed. She had the whole stress of being back in high security.

“She has got to the point where she’s pretty much at the end of her patience. I have to keep battling to make sure she knows she is not forgotten,” he added.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 13:06

Weather warnings have been issued across London following heavy snowfall overnight and this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A man in his 60s has died after a fire at a ground floor flat in Alexandra Place, St John’s Wood this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boris Johnson will be visiting Iran this weekend, and will push to get West Hampstead mum Nazanin freed from prison.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell CBE was a guest of honour at the JW3 annual fundraising dinner.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hampstead lawyer Jessica Learmond Criqui writes a letter on the situation regarding ‘disappeared’ Arman bin Quasem in Bangladesh

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Six Camden Tories were running for charity rather than for office last weekend, as they raised over £1500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A spider expert who appeared in James Bond movie Dr No is just one of the many fascinating people who has a Waterlow Park memorial bench dedicated to him.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A widow has won a 20 year battle to find out what happened the day her husband died in a high speed police pursuit.

PROMOTED CONTENT

One of London’s most popular animal welfare charities rolled out the red carpet for glamorous guests and their beloved pet dogs as their annual fundraiser returned.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now