Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reunites with husband and daughter after six years
- Credit: PA
Tears of joy were shed as the families of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were reunited with their loved ones in the early hours of Thursday morning after years of a “long and cruel separation” caused by their detention in Iran.
The pair touched down on British soil at RAF Brize Norton at just after 1am, and a video shared on social media showed the emotional homecoming as West Hampstead's Nazanin hugged and kissed her young daughter.
Nazanin was detained for six years after being accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.
An emotional video was shared live on Instagram by Anoosheh's daughter Elika as the pair disembarked the plane.
Nazanin's seven-year-old daughter Gabriella was heard asking “is that mummy?” and again shouted “mummy” as her mother walked down the plane’s stairs.
Gabriella appeared to run towards her mother, who was out of shot. She then carried the little girl in her arms as they were surrounded by other family members.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe then appeared in the video and hugged and kissed her daughter, and asked her “do I smell nice?” before holding her hands.
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She also hugged members of the Ashoori family.
MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq tweeted an image of Nazanin embracing her husband and daughter with the caption: “This picture makes me so happy and so proud of all 3 of my brave constituents. Thank you everyone for your constant support for this incredible family. #NazaninIsFree”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “People are in very, very good spirits.”
Speaking at Brize Norton after the arrival, she said: “I think it’s been a really difficult 48 hours, the expectation that they would be released, but we weren’t sure right until the last moment."
The release of Nazanin and Anoosheh follows months of intensive diplomatic negotiations between London and Tehran, including the eventual payment of an outstanding £400 million debt owed by Britain to the regime.
Nazanin and Anoosheh were initially taken to the Gulf state of Oman, which has been closely involved in the behind-the-scenes negotiations to secure their freedom.