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Jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband urges Iranian minister to ‘find a way forward’ in embassy protest

PUBLISHED: 12:32 21 February 2018

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella. Picture: RICHARD RATCLIFFE

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella. Picture: RICHARD RATCLIFFE

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Campaigners battling to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe left letters of solidarity for the jailed mum on the steps of the Iranian Embassy.

Campaigners outside the Iranian embassy. Picture: Eilidh MacphersonCampaigners outside the Iranian embassy. Picture: Eilidh Macpherson

Campaigners battling to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe left letters of solidarity for the jailed mum on the steps of the Iranian Embassy.

Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, also left a letter yesterday for the Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi who was on a ‘relations-building’ visit.

The moves come in the wake of ongoing manoeuvres in Nazanin’s case with the West Hampstead mother’s lawyer informed that rather than being granted a jail reprieve she and Gabriella could be moved under house arrest to a guarded house while diplomatic discussions continue. A move Nazanin’s family have rejected.

On the the letters, Mr Ratcliffe said: “This action might be seen as provocative, but it is not intended to be. It’s a chance for the Iranian government to affirm its humanitarian credentials. I have been frustrated by the lack of accountability of the Iranian government, the fact they have never thought it necessary to meet, all the time Nazanin and Gabriella were detained. I have been frustrated by what has felt like games – all the while Nazanin continues to be in prison.”

Richard Radcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy with a representative from Amnesty International. Picture: LINDA GROVERichard Radcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy with a representative from Amnesty International. Picture: LINDA GROVE

In the letter Mr Ratcliffe says he is “disappointed” the Iranian government has refused to meet him. “As a lesson in accountability, it remains sobering,” he says before urging the minister to make sure citizens, including his wife, are no longer used as “political pawns”.

Campaigners left letters on the embassy doorstep that had been sent by supporters to Evin Prison, which Nazanin’s jailers sent back claiming she was not known at that address.

Nazanin’s supporters hoped to ask the Iranian ministerial party to take them to Nazanin as a goodwill gesture, but the embassy doors remained shut the whole time.

Mr Ratcliffe had invited the deputy foreign minister for tea at the family’s home in Fortune Green Road.

Charity Amnesty International said embassy staff would most likely retrive the letters after the media left.

Nazanin and Gabriella were seized at Tehran airport in 2016. Nazanin was jailed for five years and Gabriella is trapped in Iran with family.

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