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Foreign Secretary to visit Iran this weekend to push for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe release

PUBLISHED: 09:15 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 08 December 2017

Boris Johnson is being urged to reunite the Ratcliffe family for Christmas.  Picture: RICHARD RATCLIFFE

Boris Johnson is being urged to reunite the Ratcliffe family for Christmas. Picture: RICHARD RATCLIFFE

Archant

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

A carol singing vigil for jailed Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside Downing Street. Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Richard Ratcliffe with campaigners. Picture: LINDA GROVE A carol singing vigil for jailed Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside Downing Street. Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Richard Ratcliffe with campaigners. Picture: LINDA GROVE

The visit comes as Nazanin is due to appear in court on December 10 to face a further charge of spreading propaganda and plotting against the Iranian regime. The charges could mean her sentence is extended by up to another ten years.

The Foreign Secretary is set to touch down in Iran tomorrow, before meeting with Iranian officials.

Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband won’t be joining Mr Johnson despite asking during their meeting in November if he could accompany him in any future visit to Iran.

According to Richard, hopes that Nazanin’s court case could be delayed are premature. He’s hoping that sufficient progress may be made during meetings tomorrow. Richard said: “My hope is that Saturday goes well and then that changes what might happen on Sunday. But essentially I am just watching with fingers crossed to see what is going on.”

Mr Johnson’s visit to Tehran could also potentially involve settling a long-running £400m dispute between Britain and Iran.

Last month marked the 600th day Nazanin has been in prison, after being arrested in a Tehran airport, along with her daughter Gabriella when they were returning from holiday in April 2016.

Supporters of 38-year-old Nazanin held a vigil earlier this week outside Downing Street, on the same spot they held a vigil last Christmas. They called on the British government to help free the charity worker from her prison cell in Iran.

The community will remember Nazanin this weekend at the Belsize Christmas Show. There will be a poetry reading, and performance of an act from the play inspired by her story, ‘Where’s my Mummy?’ on December 9.

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