Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe suffers ‘panic attacks’ in Iran as tension remains high after Qassem Soleimani death

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

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since 2016. Picture: Family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

On Wednesday night, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken to the clinic in Tehran’s Evin prison after suffering “palpitations and panic attacks” as tensions between western nations and Iran remain high following the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani last week.

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons - Credit: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons

Husband Richard, speaking to the BBC this morning, explained the ongoing situation was "very stressful for the people involved".

He added: "I mean, Nazanin was taken down to the clinic overnight two nights ago, through palpitations and panic attacks. So I think it's important for the Government to just do what they can."

Richard said Nazanin had been given beta blockers to help her to calm down.

"We usually expect things to happen a week or 10 days later, so there is a sense of foreboding which is affecting all the prisoners," he added.


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Richard added that he should be meeting Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials later on Friday.

Again, he took the opportunity to urge Boris Johnson to pay a £400 million debt Britain owes Iran and also to meet with him.

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Earlier this week, Nazanin's case was brought up in parliament by Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq.

She asked defence minister Ben Wallace: "Is the Government going to leave no stone unturned to ensure that Nazanin comes home, or are British prisoners going to be left to rot in jail in Iran while the situation between the US and Iran escalates more and more?"

In his response Mr Wallace referred to Nazanin's case as "hostage-taking" - one of the first government officials to do so.

Mr Wallace replied: "This government will do everything it can to get released from Iranian prisons not just her constituent but the very many dual nationals currently languishing in those jails.

"As she will know, this has been a long-term foreign policy tool of the Iranian government to incarcerate people it doesn't like or to intimidate nations.

"Hostage-taking, which to some extent some of those prisoners are certainly, is a tool that has been in the Iranian handbook for many decades."

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