#FreeNazanin: Richard Ratcliffe calls on Foreign Secretary to step up lobbying and not let Brexit ‘keep Nazanin on the shelf’

PUBLISHED: 17:05 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 03 September 2019

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since 2016. Picture: Family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since 2016. Picture: Family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

PA Wire/PA Images

After finally meeting Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this week, Richard Ratcliffe said wife Nazanin was “in varying levels of despair” and urged Mr Raab to “pick a fight” with Iran to ensure she is released.

On the Today programme, Richard said: "We were saying there is a tendency for the Foreign Office to want to de-escalate and calm things down, and I am saying, 'I want you to pick a fight'.An election is very close, everything is up in the air and it feels like in politics most issues are struggling to get airtime.

"She (Nazanin) is in varying levels of despair. She is looking at it and thinking, 'gosh, with all these other things going on will we be left on the shelf?'."

Referencing the restrictions on visits imposed on Nazanin last month and her previous threats to carry out further hunger strikes, Richard reiterated: "I don't think we have much time until something happens again."

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He added: "The situation is getting worse and the Government is dealing with Brexit, but this is an issue that shouldn't be forgotten."

Mr Raab said on Twitter on Monday: "Valuable meeting with Richard Ratcliffe and his parents to discuss the latest developments in Nazanin's case.

"We will continue to do everything we can to free Nazanin and reunite the family #FreeNazanin."

Nazanin has now been in Iran's Evin Prison for more than 1,200 days.

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