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Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond: ‘We are working hard to free Nazanin’

PUBLISHED: 15:26 12 July 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 12 July 2016

Nazanin and Gabriella together before their arrest

Nazanin and Gabriella together before their arrest

Archant

Work is being done to free a West Hampstead mum who has been detained in Iran, the Foreign Secretary has told Parliament.

On Tuesday, 100 days since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken into custody while visiting her family, Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq called on Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to condemn the Iranian regime.

She then delivered letters to David Cameron – on his last day as Prime Minister – and his successor Theresa May, calling for action.

Nazanin, 37, of Fortune Green Road, spent seven weeks in solitary confinement, and reports in Iran state she faces prosecution for ‘sowing unrest’.

Ms Siddiq told the Ham&High she was encouraged by Mr Hammond’s response.

Phillip Hammond has vowed to lobby the Iranian governmentPhillip Hammond has vowed to lobby the Iranian government

The Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons: “We continue to lobby the Iranians regularly about all our consular cases in Iran, including that of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“I have raised the case a number of times, and, on 4 July, spoke to Foreign Minister Zarif.

“I subsequently followed that up with a letter.”

Mr Hammond said the Minister responsible for relations with the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, had met Nazanin’s family.

He said: “We will continue to push the Iranians for consular access to her — the challenge is that Iran does not recognise dual nationality — and for more information about the charges that are alleged against her.”

After the exchange in Parliament, Ms Siddiq and Nazanin’s husband Richard, 41, delivered letters to Downing Street.

Ms Siddiq said: “We sent a letter to both (Mr Cameron and Mrs May) so they can’t pass the buck.

“Richard has been without his wife and daughter for 100 days.

“I thought (Mr Hammond’s) reply was quite good, he certainly knew about the case.

“He was well informed and said he would continue to keep the pressure up.”

Nazanin’s two-year-old daughter Gabriella’s passport was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guard.

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